Gamma-ray photons from young pulsars allow the deepest insight into the properties and interactions of high-energy particles with magnetic and photon fields in a pulsar magnetosphere. Measurements with the Compton Gamma-Ray Observatory have led to the detection of nearly ten Gamma-ray pulsars. Although quite a variety of individual signatures is found for these pulsars, some general characteristics can be summarized: (1) the gamma-ray lightcurves of most high-energy pulsars show two major peaks with the pulsed emission covering more than 50% ofthe rotation, i.e. a wide beam of emission; (2) the gamma-ray spectra of pulsars are hard (power law index less than 2), often with a luminosity maximum around 1 GeV. A spectral cutoff above several GeV is found; (3) the spectra vary with rotational phase indicating different sites of emission; and (4) the gamma-luminosity scales with the particle flux from the open regions of the magnetosphere (Goldreich-Julian current).
Neutron Stars, Pulsars, and Supernova Remnants
- Pub Date:
- 9 pages, 9 figures, 2 tables. To appear in the Proceedings of the 270. WE-Heraeus Seminar on Neutron Stars, Pulsars and Supernova Remnants, Jan. 21-25, 2002, Physikzentrum Bad Honnef, eds W. Becker, H. Lesch &