Vol 16, No 5

On the variable timing behavior of PSR B0540−69: an almost excellent example to study the pulsar braking mechanism

Fei-Fei Kou, Zi-Wei Ou, Hao Tong


Abstract PSR B0540−69 has a braking index measurement in its persistent state: n = 2.129 ± 0.012. Recently, it has been reported to have changes in its spin-down state: a sudden 36% increase in the spindown rate. Combining the persistent state braking index measurement with different spin-down states, PSR B0540−69 is more powerful than intermittent pulsars in constraining pulsar spin-down models. The pulsar wind model is applied to explain the variable timing behavior of PSR B0540−69. The braking index of PSR B0540−69 in its persistent state results from the combined effect of magnetic dipole radiation and particle wind. The particle density reflects the magnetospheric activity in real-time and may be responsible for the changing spin-down behavior. Corresponding to the 36% increase in the spin-down rate of PSR B0540−69, the relative increase in the particle density is 88% in the vacuum gap model. The braking index calculated with the model in the new state is n = 1.79. Future observations that measure the braking index of PSR B0540−69 in the new spin-down state will be very powerful in distinguishing between different pulsar spin-down models and different particle acceleration models in the wind braking scenario. The variable timing behavior of PSR J1846−0258 is also understandable in the pulsar wind model.


Keywords pulsars: general — pulsars: individual (PSR B0540−69; PSR J1846−0258) — stars: neutron — wind

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