Pulsar magnetospheres in general relativity

Paper published by Federico Carrasco, Carlos Palenzuela and Oscar Reula in the Physical Review D.

Pulsar magnetospheres in General Relativity

The main contribution to the pulsar power can be calculated by assuming a rotating magnetically dominated magnetosphere described by the force-free approximation. Although this simple model has been used thoroughly to study pulsar magnetospheres in the flat spacetime regime, only a few works have considered the relativistic corrections introduced by the curvature and frame-dragging effects induced by a rotating neutron star. Here, we revisit the problem and describe pulsar magnetospheres within full general relativity, quantifying the corrections as a function of the angular velocity, the compactness of the star, and the misalignment angle between the spin and the magnetic dipole. We provide analytical expressions for the pulsar luminosity by fitting our numerical results. Finally, we also analyze the effect of the relativistic corrections on the braking index, which indicates a slight increment in its value.


Image. Aligned rotator.—Global structure of the aligned pulsar magnetosphere. Black lines represent the poloidal magnetic field, while the color scale corresponds to the toroidal magnetic component, Bϕ.


Paper link available below at citation information


Federico Carrasco, Carlos Palenzuela and Oscar Reula
Pulsar magnetospheres in General Relativity
Phys. Rev. D 98, 023010
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevD.98.023010
9 July 2018