EDP Sciences
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Volume 405, Number 3, July III 2003
Page(s) 795 - 801
Section Cosmology
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1051/0004-6361:20030699

A&A 405, 795-801 (2003)
DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361:20030699

On the search for coherent radiation from radio pulsars

J. M. Smits1, B. W. Stappers2, 3, J.-P. Macquart4, R. Ramachandran2, 3 and J. Kuijpers1

1  Department of Astrophysics, University of Nijmegen, The Netherlands
2  Stichting "Astron", PO Box 2, 7990 AA Dwingeloo, The Netherlands
3  Astronomical Institute "Anton Pannekoek", Amsterdam, The Netherlands
4  Kapteyn Institute, University of Groningen, Groningen, The Netherlands

(Received 10 February 2003 / Accepted 6 May 2003 )

We have examined data from pulsars B0950+08 and B0329+54 for evidence of temporally coherent radiation using the modified coherence function (MCF) technique of Jenet et al. (2001). We consider the influence of both instrumental bandpass and interstellar propagation effects. Even after removal of the effects due to the instrumental bandpass, we detect a signature in the MCF of our PSR B0329+54 data which is consistent with the definition of a coherent signal. However, we model the effects due to interstellar scintillation for this pulsar and show that it reproduces the observed signature. In particular, the temporal coherence time is close to the reciprocal of the decorrelation bandwidth due to diffractive scintillation. Furthermore, comparison of the coherence times of three pulsars reported by Jenet et al. (2001) with their expected diffractive decorrelation bandwidths suggests that the detection of coherence in these pulsars is also likely a result of interstellar scintillation, and is not intrinsic to the pulsars.

Key words: radiation mechanisms: general -- stars: neutron -- pulsars: general -- pulsars: individual: B0329+54, B0950+08

Offprint request: J. M. Smits, roysm@astro.kun.nl

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