EDP Sciences
Free access
Volume 376, Number 2, September II 2001
Page(s) 543 - 552
Section Formation, structure and evolution of stars
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1051/0004-6361:20010988

A&A 376, 543-552 (2001)
DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361:20010988

Torque decay in the pulsar $(P,\dot{P})$ diagram

Effects of crustal ohmic dissipation and alignment
T. M. Tauris1 and S. Konar2

1  Nordic Institute for Theoretical Physics (NORDITA), Blegdamsvej 17, 2100 Copenhagen Ø, Denmark
2  Inter-University Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics, Pune 4111007, India
    e-mail: sushan@iucaa.ernet.in

(Received 30 January 2001 / Accepted 5 July 2001 )

We investigate the evolution of pulsars in the $(P,\dot{P})$ diagram. We first present analytical formulae to follow the evolution of a pulsar using simple exponential models for magnetic field decay and alignment. We then compare these evolutionary tracks with detailed model calculations using ohmic decay of crustal neutron star magnetic fields. We find that, after an initial phase with a small braking index, n, pulsars evolve with enhanced torque decay ($n\gg 3$) for about 1 Myr. The long term evolution depends on the impurity parameter of the crust. If impurities are negligible in older isolated pulsars we expect their true age to be approximately equal to their observed characteristic age, $\tau = P/(2\dot{P})$. It is not possible from data to constrain model parameters of the neutron star crust.

Key words: stars: neutron -- pulsars: general

Offprint request: T. M. Tauris, tauris@nordita.dk

SIMBAD Objects in preparation

© ESO 2001

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