X-ray pulsars, which form together with a main sequence star or a giant a close binary system, show strong variations in their pulse period. Epochs of spin-up and spin-down interchange on timescales of some tens up to some thousand days. We study this phenomenon in the framework of the disk-fed model by Ghosh and Lamb, which we generalize by allowing for an inclination angle chi between the magnetic dipole moment vec mu and the rotation axis. Moreover, we take into account the relatively small magnetic field induced by currents in the magnetosphere flowing along the dipole field lines. This component, which we calculate numerically, leads to a torque perpendicular to the rotation axis and induces a precession of it. Due to this additional degree of freedom, the calculated pulse period history is much smoother than in the classical Ghosh and Lamb model.
19th Texas Symposium on Relativistic Astrophysics and Cosmology
- Pub Date:
- December 1998