Resistivity and dissipation in pulsar magnetospheres

Jason Li, Anatoly Spitkovsky, Alexander Tchekhovskoy

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Current models of pulsar magnetospheres typically assume either a complete absence of plasma or abundant ideal plasma filling the magnetosphere in order to compute the field structure. The latter condition is thought to be closer to reality, but we know of a number of pulsars in which the ideal conditions break down, resulting in dissipation and high-energy emission. In this work we formulate a resistive force-free scheme that allows us to consider the effects of resistive plasma and accelerating fields on the magnetospheric structure. We run numerical simulations to construct a family of resistive solutions that smoothly bridges the gap between the vacuum and the force-free magnetosphere solutions. We further provide a self-consistent model for the spin-down of intermittent pulsars, pulsars which appear to transition between radio-loud and radio-quiet states with different spin-down rates. Finally, we present models for high-energy emission from reconnecting current sheets in Gamma-ray pulsars.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationNeutron Stars and Pulsars
Subtitle of host publicationChallenges and Opportunities after 80 years
EditorsJoeri Van Leeuwen
Number of pages4
StatePublished - Aug 2012

Publication series

NameProceedings of the International Astronomical Union
ISSN (Print)1743-9213
ISSN (Electronic)1743-9221

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Nutrition and Dietetics
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Space and Planetary Science


  • MHD
  • acceleration of particles
  • gamma rays: theory
  • pulsars: general


Dive into the research topics of 'Resistivity and dissipation in pulsar magnetospheres'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this