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Journal Article

Polarization of high-energy pulsar radiation in the striped wind model


Pétri,  Jérôme
Prof. Heinrich J. Völk, Emeriti, MPI for Nuclear Physics, Max Planck Society;


Kirk,  John
Division Prof. Dr. Werner Hofmann, MPI for Nuclear Physics, Max Planck Society;

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Pétri, J., & Kirk, J. (n.d.). Polarization of high-energy pulsar radiation in the striped wind model. Astrophysical Journal, Letters. Retrieved from http://de.arXiv.org/abs/astro-ph/0505427.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-0011-863E-8
The Stokes parameters of the pulsed synchrotron radiation produced in the striped pulsar wind model are computed and compared with optical observations of the Crab pulsar. We assume the main contribution to the wind emissivity comes from a thin transition layer where the dominant toroidal magnetic field reverses its polarity. The radial component of the field is neglected, but a small meridional component is added. The resulting radiation is linearly polarized (Stokes V=0). In the off-pulse region, the electric vector lies in the direction of the projection on the sky of the rotation axis of the pulsar. This property is unique to the wind model and in good agreement with the data. Other properties such as a reduced degree of polarization and a characteristic sweep of the polarization angle within the pulses are also reproduced. These properties are qualitatively unaffected by variations of the wind Lorentz factor, the electron injection power law index and the inclination of the line of sight.