Cyclotron Lines: From Magnetic Field Strength Estimators to Geometry Tracers in Neutron Stars
With forty years since the discovery of the first cyclotron line in Her X-1, there have been remarkable advancements in the field related to the study of the physics of accreting neutron stars – cyclotron lines have been a major torchbearer in this regard, from being the only direct estimator of the magnetic field strength, a tracer of accretion geometry and an indicator of the emission beam in these systems. The main flurry of activities have centred around studying the harmonic separations, luminosity dependence, pulse phase dependence and more recently, the shapes of the line and the trend for long-term evolution in the line energy. This article visits the important results related to cyclotron lines since its discovery and reviews their significance. An emphasis is laid on pulse phase resolved spectroscopy and the important clues a joint timing and spectral study in this context can provide, to build a complete picture for the physics of accretion and hence X-ray emission in accreting neutron stars.
Volume 43, 2022
Continuous Article Publishing mode
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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