Vol 9, No 11

Detectability of rotation-powered pulsars in future hard X-ray surveys

Wei Wang


Abstract Recent INTEGRAL/IBIS hard X-ray surveys have detected about 10 young pulsars.We show hard X-ray properties of these 10 young pulsars, which have a luminosity of 1033−1037 erg s−1 and a photon index of 1.6–2.1 in the energy range of 20–100keV. The correlation between X-ray luminosity and spin-down power of LX ∝ Lsd1.31 suggests that the hard X-ray emission in rotation-powered pulsars is dominated by the pulsar wind nebula (PWN) component. Assuming spectral properties are similar in 20–100 keV and 2–10 keV for both the pulsar and PWN components, the hard X-ray luminosity and flux of 39 known young X-ray pulsars and 8 millisecond pulsars are obtained, and a correlation of LX ∝ Lsd1.5 is derived. About 20 known young X-ray pulsars and 1 millisecond pulsars could be detected with future INTEGRAL and HXMT surveys. We also carry out Monte Carlo simulations of hard X-ray pulsars in the Galaxy and the Gould Belt, assuming values for the pulsar birth rate, initial position, proper motion velocity, period, and magnetic field distribution and evolution based on observational statistics and the LX − Lsd relations: LX ∝ Lsd1.31 and LX ∝ Lsd1.5 More than 40 young pulsars (mostly in the Galactic plane) could be detected after ten years of INTEGRAL surveys and the launch of HXMT. So, the young pulsars would be a significant part of the hard X-ray source population in the sky, and will contribute to unidentified hard X-ray sources in present and future hard X-ray surveys by INTEGRAL and HXMT.


Keywords pulsars: general—stars: neutron—X-rays: stars—radiation mechanisms: nonthermal

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