Test of pulsar acceleration mechanisms

Morris, D. ; Radhakrishnan, V. ; Shukre, C. (1976) Test of pulsar acceleration mechanisms Nature, 260 . pp. 124-126. ISSN 0028-0836

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Official URL: http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v260/n5547/ab...

Related URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/260124a0


An elegant mechanism to explain the high velocities of pulsars has been proposed by Harrison and Tademaru. Based on the observations that the interpulses seen in some pulsars are located asymmetrically between the main pulses, they assume that pulsar magnetic fields arise in general from off-centred dipoles. The asymmetric radiation reaction produced by such an inclined off-set rotating dipole accelerates the pulsars in a direction parallel to their spin axes and gives the observed velocities. Any verification of the above hypothesis hinges on the possibility of determining, and comparing, the angle projected by the spin axis on the sky S with the observed direction of motion of the pulsar V. According to Harrison and Tademaru's model these directions would coincide (V = S). We wish to point out here that a measure of the spin axis projected direction is given by the intrinsic angle of polarisation of the radio emission at the centre of the integrated pulse profile, and that these polarisation data do not support the hypothesis in most cases.

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