We want to understand what drives magnetospheric dissipation in the equatorial current sheet. Numerical simulations have limitations and, unless we have a clear a priori understanding of the physical processes involved, their results can be misleading. We argue that the canonical pulsar magnetosphere is strongly dissipative and that a large fraction (up to 30–40 % in an aligned rotator) of the spindown luminosity is redirected towards the equator where it is dissipated into particle acceleration and emission of radiation. We show that this is due to the failure of the equatorial electric current to cross the Y-point at the tip of the corotating zone.
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