• Millisecond Pulsars, their Evolution and Applications

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    • Keywords


      Pulsars; general; stars: evolution; gravitation.

    • Abstract


      Millisecond pulsars (MSPs) are short-period pulsars that are distinguished from “normal” pulsars, not only by their short period, but also by their very small spin-down rates and high probability of being in a binary system. These properties are consistent with MSPs having a different evolutionary history to normal pulsars, viz., neutron-star formation in an evolving binary system and spin-up due to accretion from the binary companion. Their very stable periods make MSPs nearly ideal probes of a wide variety of astrophysical phenomena. For example, they have been used to detect planets around pulsars, to test the accuracy of gravitational theories, to set limits on the low-frequency gravitational-wave background in the Universe, and to establish pulsar-based timescales that rival the best atomic-clock timescales in long-term stability. MSPs also provide a window into stellar and binary evolution, often suggesting exotic pathways to the observed systems. The X-ray accretion-powered MSPs, and especially those that transition between an accreting X-ray MSP and a non-accreting radio MSP, give important insight into the physics of accretion on to highly magnetized neutron stars.

    • Author Affiliations


      R. N. Manchester1

      1. CSIRO Astronomy and Space Science, P.O. Box 76, Epping, NSW 1710, Australia.
    • Dates

  • Journal of Astrophysics and Astronomy | News

    • Continuous Article Publication

      Posted on January 27, 2016

      Since January 2016, the Journal of Astrophysics and Astronomy has moved to Continuous Article Publishing (CAP) mode. This means that each accepted article is being published immediately online with DOI and article citation ID with starting page number 1. Articles are also visible in Web of Science immediately. All these have helped shorten the publication time and have improved the visibility of the articles.

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      Posted on July 25, 2019

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