Oscillation-Driven Magnetospheric Activity in Pulsars

Document Type



We study the magnetospheric activity in the polar cap region of pulsars under stellar oscillations. The toroidal oscillation of the star propagates into the magnetosphere, which provides additional voltage due to unipolar induction, changes Goldreich-Julian charge density from the traditional value due to rotation, and hence influences particle acceleration. We present a general solution of the effect of oscillations within the framework of the inner vacuum gap model and consider three different inner gap modes controlled by curvature radiation, inverse Compton scattering, and two-photon annihilation, respectively. With different pulsar parameters and oscillation amplitudes, one of three modes would play a dominant role in defining the gap properties. When the amplitude of oscillation exceeds a critical value, mode changing occurs. Oscillations also lead to a change of the size of the polar cap. As applications, we show the inner gap properties under oscillations in both normal pulsars and anomalous X-ray pulsars/soft gamma-ray repeaters (AXPs/SGRs). We interpret the onset of radio emission after glitches/flares in AXPs/SGRs as due to oscillation-driven magnetic activities in these objects, within the framework of both the magnetar model and the solid quark star model. Within the magnetar model, radio activation may be caused by the enlargement of the effective polar cap angle and the radio emission beam due to oscillation, whereas within the solid quark star angle, it may be caused by activation of the pulsar inner gap from below the radio emission death line due to an oscillation-induced voltage enhancement. The model can also explain the glitch-induced radio profile change observed in PSR J1119–6127.


Astrophysics and Astronomy