We examine if an efficient particle acceleration takes place by a magnetic-field-aligned electric field near the light cylinder in a rotating neutron star magnetosphere. Constructing the electric current density with the actual motion of collisionless plasmas, we express the rotationally induced Goldreich–Julian charge density as a function of position. It is demonstrated that the ‘light cylinder gap’, which emits very high energy photons via curvature process by virtue of a strong magnetic-field-aligned electric field very close to the light cylinder, will not arise in an actual pulsar magnetosphere.
Keywords: acceleration of particles; magnetic fields; methods: analytical; stars: neutron; gamma-rays: stars
Journal Article. 2209 words. Illustrated.
Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics
Full text: subscription required