2006 Supplement 2: 2005 LAKE HANAS INTERNATIONAL PULSAR SYMPOSIUM / Knight

Observational Characteristics of Giant Pulses and Related Phenomena

H. S. Knight

Abstract


Evidence now exists that at least 14 pulsars emit distinctive pulses that are stronger and narrower than the average pulse. I review observations of these pulses in an effort to determine which sources share a common emission-mechanism. All of the giant pulses emitted by millisecond pulsars have power-law energy-statistics and occur in narrow phase-windows that coincide with those of X-ray emission. The giant pulses of millisecond pulsars therefore probably originate from a single process. They are always unresolved at microsecond timescales, and therefore the emission is likely to arise from the superposition of a small number of nano-shots. Most are actually very weak when compared to the average pulse. They are only ``giant'' when examined in terms of their ultra-high brightness temperatures. Giant pulses from other sources have a variety of widths, shapes, and energy distributions. The giant pulses from the Crab pulsar have intrinsic sub-microsecond timescales like the giant pulses of the millisecond pulsars, and therefore probably originate from the same mechanism. Other phenomena, such as giant micro-pulses from young pulsars and giant pulses from slow pulsars have not been shown to have such short timescales. These phenomena likely arise from other mechanisms.


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DOI: https://doi.org/10.1088/1009-9271/6/S2/9

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