AAS Meeting #193 - Austin, Texas, January 1999
Session 41. Pulsars
Display, Thursday, January 7, 1999, 9:20am-6:30pm, Exhibits Hall 1

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[41.10] Numerical Simulations of Aligned Pulsar Magnetospheres

I.A. Smith, F.C. Michel, P. Thacker (Rice University)

We present detailed numerical simulations of the magnetosphere of an isolated pulsar in which the spin and magnetic dipole axes of the neutron star are aligned. We demonstrate that stable charge distributions are always found. These consist of a dome above the polar cap containing plasma of one charge and an equatorial belt containing plasma of the other sign. These are separated by a vacuum gap. We show that the charge distribution used in the ``standard'' Goldreich-Julian pulsar model is inherently unstable, using a video to show its collapse to a stable configuration that is very similar to the others illustrated in this paper. We also show the effects of adding pair production in the vacuum gap.

The author(s) of this abstract have provided an email address for comments about the abstract: ian@spacsun.rice.edu

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