Skip to main content


Author(s): Philippov, AA; Cerutti, B; Tchekhovskoy, A; Spitkovsky, Anatoly

To refer to this page use:
Abstract: It has recently been demonstrated that self-consistent particle-in-cell simulations of low-obliquity pulsar magnetospheres in flat spacetime show weak particle acceleration and no pair production near the poles. We investigate the validity of this conclusion in a more realistic spacetime geometry via general-relativistic particle-in-cell simulations of the aligned pulsar magnetosphere with pair formation. We find that the addition of the frame-dragging effect makes the local current density along the magnetic field larger than the Goldreich-Julian value, which leads to unscreened parallel electric fields and the ignition of a pair cascade. When pair production is active, we observe field oscillations in the open field bundle, which could be related to pulsar radio emission. We conclude that general-relativistic effects are essential for the existence of the pulsar mechanism in low-obliquity rotators.
Publication Date: 20-Dec-2015
Electronic Publication Date: 20-Dec-2015
Citation: Philippov, AA, Cerutti, B, Tchekhovskoy, A, Spitkovsky, A. (2015). AB INITIO PULSAR MAGNETOSPHERE: The ROLE of GENERAL RELATIVITY. Astrophysical Journal Letters, 815 (2), 10.1088/2041-8205/815/2/L19
DOI: doi:10.1088/2041-8205/815/2/L19
ISSN: 2041-8205
EISSN: 2041-8213
Related Item:
Type of Material: Journal Article
Journal/Proceeding Title: Astrophysical Journal Letters
Version: Final published version. Article is made available in OAR by the publisher's permission or policy.

Items in OAR@Princeton are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.