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Rotational Instabilities in Pulsars

  • A. G. Lyne (a1)

Abstract

In general, radio pulsars are superb clocks. However a few years after their discovery, it became clear that some pulsars show significant departures from their regular slow-down which make their rotation unpredictable. Two main forms of irregularities have been identified – glitches and timing noise – which are most marked in, but not confined to, young pulsars. Both are probably related to the internal structure of the neutron star and the properties of the internal neutron superfluid which prevent the smooth outward flow of angular momentum as the star slows down. In this review, the observational status and statistical aspects of the phenomena are described. We do not discuss in any detail their implications for neutron star structure. Rather, we consider them in so far as they limit studies in which the rotational stability is paramount and may limit the use of pulsars as astronomical chronometers. Glitch activity, the amount of post-glitch relaxation and the amplitude of timing noise all depend roughly linearly on the frequency derivative, implying that even the millisecond pulsars are prone to these effects.

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References

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Rotational Instabilities in Pulsars

  • A. G. Lyne (a1)

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