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Multiwavelength Diagnostics of Pulsar Plasmas

  • R. W. Romani (a1)

Abstract

The phase-resolved broadband (optical to gamma-ray) spectral energy distributions of spin-powered pulsars contain important diagnostics of the emission zone plasma and its acceleration. I summarize some recent observations of young pulsars, describe models for the various spectral components, and argue that the next generation of telescopes and spacecraft will allow a true mapping of the e± plasma flow in the pulsar magnetosphere. Of course, spectral lines and breaks are more powerful tracers than the spectral energy distribution, and since we believe that synchrotron emission dominates in the near-IR to UV, features are expected that will allow even more detailed probes of the plasma physics. Most young pulsars are, however, quite faint, and new technology is needed to extract these diagnostics.

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