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Joint Cosmology seminar

Tue, May 4th

Joint Cosmology Seminar of Harvard/MIT/Tufts

Vicky Kaspi (McGill University)

(Anomalous) X-ray Pulsars

The "Anomalous X-ray Pulsars" (AXPs) have been mysterious for over two
decades.  Although these unusual objects are clearly young neutron
stars, what powers their X-ray emission has been unknown.  In this
talk, we review the observational properties of the AXPs, namely their
spin behaviour, spectra and fluxes, their pulse morphologies, their
multiwavelength properties, as well as their recently discovered
bursting behaviour.  We contrast these properties with those of the
soft gamma repeaters, a source class argued, on a variety of grounds, to
be identified as "magnetars," isolated ultra-high-magnetic-field
neutron stars.  We show that the distinction between the two classes of
object, particularly in light of AXP bursts, appears largely
superficial.  This clearly points to both classes being magnetars.
We also discuss the issue of high-magnetic-field radio pulsars, which,
according to the magnetar model, ought to produce some anomalous X-ray
emission, like the AXPs.

The seminar will be held in Pratt Conference Room (G04) of CfA (60
Garden St.) at 12:30pm.