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K. Hirotani, A. K. Harding (NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center), S. Shibata (Yamagata University)
We investigate a stationary pair production cascade in the outer magnetosphere of a spinning neutron star. We first demonstrate that the Maxwell equation for the electrostatic potential prohibits our applying the original vacuum solution obtained by Cheng, Ho, and Ruderman (1986, ApJ 300, 500) to realistic non-vacuum outer-gap models conventionally considered. We then solve the Maxwell equation together with the Boltzmann equations for particles and gamma-rays and show that (1) the gap will not be quenched by the externally injected current at nearly Goldreich-Julian rate, (2) the gap position shifts as a function of the injected current, (3) the particle energy distribution cannot be expressed by a power-law, (4) the superposition of the curvature gamma-rays emitted at various points forms the observed power-law spectra of individual gamma-ray pulsars, (5) the gamma-ray luminosity is naturally proportional to the square root of the spin-down luminosity for young pulsars and will evolve to be proportional to the spin-down one for middle-aged or older pulsars, (6) the observed relationship between gamma-ray and spin-down luminosities merely reflects the unsaturated motion of the emitting particles and hence does not discriminate the gap position (whether in the outer or the inner magnetosphere).
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© 2003. The American Astronomical Soceity.