Accretion torque on magnetized neutron stars
Department of Astronomy, Nanjing University, Nanjing 210093, PR China e-mail: [hldai;lixd]@nju.edu.cn
Accepted: 20 December 2005
The conventional picture of disk accretion onto magnetized neutron stars has been challenged by the spin changes observed in a few X-ray pulsars, and by theoretical results from numerical simulations of disk-magnetized star interactions. These indicate possible accretion during the propeller regime and the spin-down torque increasing with the accretion rate. Here we present a model for the accretion torque exerted by the disk on a magnetized neutron star, assuming accretion continues even for rapid rotators. The accretion torque is shown to have some different characteristics from that in the conventional model, but in accord with observations and numerical calculations of accretion-powered magnetized neutron stars. We also discuss its possible applications to the spin evolution in X-ray pulsars.
Key words: accretion, accretion disks / pulsars: general / stars: magnetic field / X-ray: stars
© ESO, 2006