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Journal Article

Neutrinos from Accreting Neutron Stars


Aharonian,  F.A.
Division Prof. Dr. Werner Hofmann, MPI for Nuclear Physics, Max Planck Society;

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Anchordoqui, L., Torres, D., McCauley, T., Romero, G., & Aharonian, F. (2003). Neutrinos from Accreting Neutron Stars. Astrophysical Journal, 589(1), 481-486.

Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-0011-8ED3-1
The magnetospheres of accreting neutron stars develop electrostatic gaps with huge potential drops. Protons and ions, accelerated in these gaps along the dipolar magnetic field lines to energies greater than 100 TeV, can impact onto the surrounding accretion disk. A proton-induced cascade develops, and charged pion decays produce nu emission. With extensive disk shower simulations using DPMJET and GEANT4, we have calculated the resulting nu spectrum. We show that the spectrum produced out of the proton beam is a power law. We use this result to propose accretion-powered X-ray binaries (with highly magnetized neutron stars) as a new population of pointlike nu sources for kilometer-scale detectors such as ICECUBE. As a particular example, we discuss the case of A0535+26. We show that ICECUBE should find A0535+26 to be a periodic nu source, one for which the formation and loss of its accretion disk can be fully detected. Finally, we comment briefly on the possibility that smaller telescopes such as AMANDA could also detect A0535+26 by folding observations with the orbital period.