Journal Article

A study of 315 glitches in the rotation of 102 pulsars

C. M. Espinoza, A. G. Lyne, B. W. Stappers and M. Kramer

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

Published on behalf of The Royal Astronomical Society

Volume 414, issue 2, pages 1679-1704
Published in print June 2011 | ISSN: 0035-8711
Published online June 2011 | e-ISSN: 1365-2966 | DOI:
A study of 315 glitches in the rotation of 102 pulsars

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The rotation of more than 700 pulsars has been monitored using the 76-m Lovell Telescope at Jodrell Bank. Here we report on a new search for glitches in the observations, revealing 128 new glitches in the rotation of 63 pulsars. Combining these new data with those already published, we present a data base containing 315 glitches in 102 pulsars. The data base was used to study the glitch activity among the pulsar population, finding that it peaks for pulsars with a characteristic age τc∼ 10 kyr and decreases for longer values of τc, disappearing for objects with τc > 20 Myr. The glitch activity is also smaller in the very young pulsars (τc≲ 1 kyr). The cumulative effect of glitches, a collection of instantaneous spin-up events, acts to reduce the regular long-term spin-down rate of the star. The percentage of reversed by glitch activity was found to vary between 0.5 and 1.6 per cent for pulsars with spin-down rates between 10−14 and 3.2 × 10−11 Hz s−1, decreasing to less than 0.01 per cent at both higher and lower spin-down rates. These ratios are interpreted in terms of the amount of superfluid involved in the generation of glitches. In this context, the activity of the youngest pulsar studied, the Crab pulsar, may be explained by quake-like activity within the crust. Pulsars with low spin-down rates seem to exhibit mostly small glitches, matching well the decrease of their crustal superfluid.

Through the analysis of glitch sizes, it was found that the particular glitching behaviour of PSR J0537−6910 and the Vela pulsar may be shared by most Vela-like pulsars. These objects present most of their glitches with characteristic frequency and frequency derivative jumps, occurring at regular intervals of time. Their behaviour is different from other glitching pulsars of similar characteristic age.

Keywords: stars: neutron; pulsars: general

Journal Article.  11231 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics

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