Gamma‐Ray Emission from an Outer Gap Accelerator: Constraints on Magnetospheric Current, Magnetic Inclination, and Distance for PSR B1055−52

Kouichi Hirotani, Shinpei Shibata
2002 Astrophysical Journal  
We investigate a stationary pair production cascade in the outer magnetosphere of a spinning neutron star. The charge depletion due to global flows of charged particles, causes a large electric field along the magnetic field lines. Migratory electrons and/or positrons are accelerated by this field to radiate curvature gamma-rays, some of which collide with the X-rays to materialize as pairs in the gap. The replenished charges partially screen the electric field, which is self-consistently
more » ... , together with the distribution functions of particles and gamma-rays. By solving the Vlasov equations describing this pair production cascade, we demonstrate the existence of a stationary gap in the outer magnetosphere of PSR B1055-52 for a wide range of current densities flowing in the accelerator: From sub to super Goldreich-Julian values. However, we find that the expected GeV spectrum becomes very soft if the current density exceeds the Goldreich-Julian value. We also demonstrate that the GeV spectrum softens with decreasing magnetic inclination and with increasing distance to this pulsar. We thus conclude that a sub-Goldreich-Julian current, a large magnetic inclination, and a small distance (500 pc, say) are plausible to account for EGRET observations. Furthermore, it is found that the TeV flux due to inverse Compton scatterings of infrared photons whose spectrum is inferred from the Rayleigh-Jeans side of the soft blackbody spectrum is much less than the observational upper limit.
doi:10.1086/324199 fatcat:5jzwceuxsjhc3njirafabx4ehe