Globular clusters are highly efficient radio pulsar factories. These pulsars can be used as precision probes of the clusters' structure, gas content, magnetic field, and formation history; some of them are also highly interesting in their own right because they probe exotic stellar evolution scenarios as well as the physics of dense matter, accretion, and gravity. Deep searches with SKA1-MID and SKA1-LOW will plausibly double to triple the known population. Such searches will only require one to a few tied-array beams, and can be done during early commissioning of the telescope - before an all-sky pulsar survey using hundreds to thousands of tied-array beams is feasible. With SKA2 it will be possible to observe most of the active radio pulsars within a large fraction of the Galactic globular clusters, an estimated population of 600 - 3700 observable pulsars (those beamed towards us). This rivals the total population of millisecond pulsars that can be found in the Galactic field; fully characterizing it will provide the best-possible physical laboratories as well as a rich dynamical history of the Galactic globular cluster system.
Advancing Astrophysics with the Square Kilometre Array (AASKA14)
- Pub Date:
- April 2015
- Astrophysics - High Energy Astrophysical Phenomena
- 15 pages, 5 figures, to be published in: "Advancing Astrophysics with the Square Kilometre Array", Proceedings of Science, PoS(AASKA14)047