• M. Vivekanand

      Articles written in Journal of Astrophysics and Astronomy

    • The structure of integrated pulse profiles

      M. Vivekanand V. Radhakrishnan

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      We offer two possible explanations to account for the characteristics of integrated pulse profiles, in particular their degree of complexity, their variation from pulsar to pulsar, their stability, and the tendency of complex profiles to be associated with older pulsars.

      It is proposed that the pulse structure could be a reflection of surface irregularities at the polar caps, and it is shown how the surface relief can affect the number of positrons released into the magnetosphere which are subsequently responsible for the observed radio radiation. The electrons produced in the vacuum break-down in the gap carry enough energy to allow creating such a surface relief in ∼ 106 years, and one way in which this could be achieved is discussed.

      Alternatively, the presence of multipole components in the magnetic fields of older pulsars could lead to significant variations in the curvature of the field lines across the gap, and hence to structure in the integrated pulse profiles. An assessment of the two hypotheses from observed pulse profiles seems to favour the polar cap relief picture.

    • A new look at pulsar statistics — Birthrate and evidence for injection

      M. Vivekanand R. Narayan

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      We make a statistical analysis of the periodsP and period-derivativesP of pulsars using a model independent theory of pulsar flow in theP-P diagram. Using the available sample ofP andP values, we estimate the current of pulsars flowing unidirectionally along theP-axis, which is related to the pulsar birthrate. Because of radio luminosity selection effects, the observed pulsar sample is biased towards lowP and highP. We allow for this by weighting each pulsar by a suitable scale factor. We obtain the number of pulsars in our galaxy to be 6.05−2.80+3.32 × 105 and the birthrate to be 0.048−0.011+0.014 pulsars yr−1 galaxy−1. The quoted errors refer to 95 per cent confidence limits corresponding to fluctuations arising from sampling, but make no allowance for other systematic and random errors which could be substantial. The birthrate estimated here is consistent with the supernova rate. We further conclude that a large majority of pulsars make their first appearance at periods greater than 0.5 s. This ‘injection’, which runs counter to present thinking, is probably connected with the physics of pulsar radio emission. Using a variant of our theory, where we compute the current as a function of pulsar ‘age’ (1/2P/P), we find support for the dipole braking model of pulsar evolution upto 6 × 106 yr of age. We estimate the mean pulsar braking index to be 3.7−0.8+0.8.

    • On selection effects in pulsar searches

      M. Vivekanand R. Narayan V. Radhakrishnan

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      Selection effects are a major source of error in statistical studies of pulsar data since the observed sample is a biased subset of the full galactic pulsar population. It is important to identify all selection effects and make a reasonable model before attempting to determine pulsar properties. Here we discuss a hitherto neglected selection effect which is a function of the periodP of the pulsar. We find that short-P pulsars are more difficult to detect, particularly if their dispersion measures are high. We also discuss a declination-dependent selection effect in the II Molonglo Survey (II MS), and find some evidence for the existence of both selection effects in the pulsar data from this survey. We discuss the implications of these additional selection effects for the recently proposed ‘injection’ of pulsars whereby pulsars seem to switch on only at longerP. Using the II MS data we calculate that the observability of pulsars withP between 0.0 s and 0.5 s is about 18 per cent less with the new selection effects than hitherto believed; the mean correction is 6 per cent forP between 0.5 s and 1.0 s. We conclude that injection is not qualitatively affected by these corrections.

    • Interstellar electron density

      M. Vivekanand R. Narayan

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      We impose the requirement that the spatial distribution of pulsars deduced from their dispersion measures using a model of the galactic electron density (ne) should be consistent with cylindrical symmetry around the galactic centre (assumed to be 10 kpc from the Sun). Using a carefully selected subsample of the pulsars detected by the II Molonglo Survey (II MS), we test a number of simple models and conclude that (i) the effective mean 〈ne〉) for the whole galaxy is 0.037-0.012+0.020 cm-3, (ii) the scale height of electrons is greater than 300 pc and probably about 1 kpc or more, and (iii) there is little evidence for variation of ne with galactic radius RGC for RGc ≳ 5 kpc. Further, we make a detailed analysis of the contribution to ne from H II regions. Combining the results of a number of relatively independent calculations, we propose a model for the galactic electron density of the formne (z) = 0.030 + 0.020 exp (- |z|/70) cm-3 where z(pc) is the height above the galactic plane and the second term describes the contribution from H II regions. We believe the statistical uncertainties in the parameters of this model are quite small.

  • 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.

    • Editorial Note on Continuous Article Publication

      Posted on July 25, 2019

      Click here for Editorial Note on CAP Mode

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