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Submitter: Joeri van Leeuwen
Description: IAU Symposium 291 "Neutron Stars and Pulsars: Challenges and Opportunities after 80 years", held in Beijing 2012, featured a rich harvest of recent scientific discoveries, looking forward to the many exciting avenues for future neutron-star research. The proceedings of this symposium have now appeared, edited by Joeri van Leeuwen (ASTRON).

The volume (CUP, Amazon, PDF Preprint) starts with general, lively, comprehensive introductions to three main themes that successfully communicate the excitement of current pulsar research: a general overview, probing gravitation, and magnetars.

The subsequent reviews and contributions on hot topics cover: ongoing searches for pulsars, both radio and gamma-ray; neutron star formation and properties; binary pulsars; pulsar timing and tests of gravitational theories; magnetars; radio transients; radio, X-ray and gamma-ray pulse properties and emission mechanisms; and future facilities. This range of topics clearly illustrates the diverse nature and wide application of neutron-star research. No less than 5 contributions describe the latest LOFAR pulsar results: the review (Kondratiev), the pilot search (Coenen), the low-frequency pulses (Kondratiev), the real-time pulse search (Falcke), and the B0943+10 XMM/LOFAR synchronous switching (Van Leeuwen) .

Through a combination of introductory reviews and practically complete coverage of current results from across the electromagnetic spectrum, IAU S291 is a great reference for neutron-star researchers while providing an excellent read for advanced undergraduate and starting graduate students.

The cover figure combines the 1932 detection of the neutron with the state of modern neutron-star and pulsar research, in 2012. In the left-hand side photograph, neutrons have collided with the atoms in a layer of paraffin wax, ejecting a proton. The proton path is visible in the ionization chamber. The right-hand panel shows an HST/Chandra false-color image of supernova remnant 1E 0102-7219. Overlaid for illustration is Westerbork radio data of the Crab pulsar.
Copyright: CUP/IAU/JvL
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