Radio Pulsars: Cosmic Electrical Generators

Andrey Timokhin

NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

Radio pulsars are fascinating astrophysical sources shining in all regions of electromagnetic spectrum, from radio to gamma-rays. Pulsar's energy source is the rotation of the neutron star, pulsar converts the energy of rotation into electricity not unlike an electric generator in a power plant, but every aspect of this celestial generator can be described by superlatives. Although pulsars had been discovered almost five decades ago, emission mechanisms are still not identified, and even the global structure of pulsar magnetosphere, where almost all pulsar radiation is produced, remains unknown. In the recent time significant progress has been achieved in both theoretical as well as observational studies of pulsars, which can be partially attributed to the advent of powerful computers and the launch of Fermi gamma-ray observatory. In this talk I will give a brief overview of the current state of pulsar models and will discuss what observations tells us about critical features still missing in the current models.

Date: Mardi, le 24 septembre 2013
Heure: 16:00
Lieu: Université McGill
  Ernest Rutherford Physics Building, R.E. Bell Conference Room (room 103)
Contact: Robert Rutledge