Ab initio pulsar magnetosphere: Three-dimensional particle-in-cell simulations of oblique pulsars

Alexander A. Philippov, Anatoly Spitkovsky, Benoit Cerutti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

83 Scopus citations

Abstract

We present "first-principles" relativistic particle-in-cell simulations of the oblique pulsar magnetosphere with pair formation. The magnetosphere starts to form with particles extracted from the surface of the neutron star. These particles are accelerated by surface electric fields and emit photons capable of producing electron-positron pairs. We inject secondary pairs at the locations of primary energetic particles whose energy exceeds the threshold for pair formation. We find solutions that are close to the ideal force-free magnetosphere with the Y-point and current sheet. Solutions with obliquities ≤40.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberL19
JournalAstrophysical Journal Letters
Volume801
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science

Keywords

  • acceleration of particles
  • magnetic fields
  • plasmas
  • pulsars: general
  • stars: rotation

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