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Today's Colloquium: Synchronous X-ray and Radio Mode Changing in a Pulsar: a challenge for all proposed pulsar emission theories

Submitter: Wim Hermsen (SRON & UvA)
Description: Pulsars are unique electromagnetic generators, capable of producing emission from low-frequency radio waves up to high-energy gamma rays. This emission can be generated anywhere from the surface of the pulsar out to the edges of its magnetosphere, and, 45 years after the discovery of radio pulsars, there is still no consensus on the production scenario’s. Simultaneous observations with the XMM-Newton, LOFAR and GMRT telescopes, revealed synchronous switching in the radio and X-ray emission properties of PSR B0943+10, published recently in Science in a report with a.o. 31 ASTRON co-authors. In this talk I will review competing models for the production of the X-ray emission, proposed links with the radio emission, and discuss how our new findings challenge these emission theories. Surprisingly, our discovery supports models explaining mode switches by rapid, global changes to the conditions in the entire magnetosphere.

Image: The two states of pulsar PSR B0943+10 as observed with XMM-Newton and LOFAR.
Copyright: ESA/ATG medialab; ESA/XMM-Newton; ASTRON/LOFAR
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