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A phenomenological wobbling model for isolated pulsars and the braking index

Authors: Araujo, E.C.A.; De Lorenci, V.A.; Peter, P.; Ruiz, L.S.

Ref.: Mon. Not. R. Astron. Soc. 527 (3), 7956-7964 (2024)

Abstract: An isolated pulsar is a rotating neutron star possessing a very high magnetic dipole moment, thus providing a powerful radiating mechanism. These stars loose rotational energy E through various processes, including a plasma wind originating from a highly magnetized magnetosphere and the emission of magnetic dipole radiation (MDR). Such phenomena produce a time decreasing angular velocity similar to(t) of the pulsar that is usually quantified in terms of its braking index. Although these mechanisms are widely acknowledged as the primary drivers of the spin evolution of isolated pulsars, it is plausible that other contributing factors influencing this effect have yet to be comprehensively investigated. Most of young isolated pulsars present a braking index different from that given by the MDR and plasma wind processes. Working in the weak field (Newtonian) limit, we take in this work a step forward in describing the evolution of such a system by allowing the starĀ“s shape to wobble around an ellipsoidal configuration as a backreaction effect produced by its rotational deceleration. It is assumed that an internal damping of the oscillations occurs, thus introducing another form of energy loss in the system, and this phenomenon may be related to the deviation of the braking index from the models based on. E similar to- Omega(4) predictions. Numerical calculations suggest that the average braking index for typical isolated pulsars can be thus explained by a simple phenomenological model.

DOI: 10.1093/mnras/stad3531