A High Braking Index for a Pulsar

Archibald, R. F., Gotthelf, E. V., Ferdman, R. D., Kaspi, V. M., Guillot, S., Harrison, F. A., Keane, E. F., Pivovaroff, M. J., Stern, D., Tendulkar, S. P. and Tomsick, J. A. (2016) A High Braking Index for a Pulsar. The Astrophysical Journal Letters, 819 (1). ISSN 2041-8205

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Abstract

We present a phase-coherent timing solution for PSR J1640–4631, a young 206 ms pulsar using X-ray timing observations taken with NuSTAR. Over this timing campaign, we have measured the braking index of PSR J1640–4631 to be n = 3.15 ± 0.03. Using a series of simulations, we argue that this unusually high braking index is not due to timing noise, but is intrinsic to the pulsar's spin-down. We cannot, however, rule out contamination due to an unseen glitch recovery, although the recovery timescale would have to be longer than most yet observed. If this braking index is eventually proven to be stable, it demonstrates that pulsar braking indices greater than three are allowed in nature; hence, other physical mechanisms such as mass or magnetic quadrupoles are important in pulsar spin-down. We also present a 3σ upper limit on the pulsed flux at 1.4 GHz of 0.018 mJy.

Item Type: Article
Depositing User: LivePure Connector
Date Deposited: 12 Jul 2018 15:30
Last Modified: 18 Sep 2020 00:17
URI: https://ueaeprints.uea.ac.uk/id/eprint/67607
DOI: 10.3847/2041-8205/819/1/L16

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