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**Session 23 - Degenerate Stars, Pulsars.**

*Display session, Tuesday, June 10*

*South Main Hall, *

## [23.01] A Statistical Model for the Orthogonal Modes of Polarization in Pulsar Radio Emission

*M. M. McKinnon (NRAO), D. R. Stinebring (Oberlin College)*

The radio emission from pulsars is modelled as a
superposition of two modes of orthogonally polarized
radiation. The polarization of each mode is assumed to be
completely linear, and the flux densities of the modes are
represented by random variables to account for the random
switching between orthogonally polarized states. Example
distributions of total intensity, linear polarization,
fractional linear polarization, and polarization position
angle are computed with the model. The model is compared
with polarization observations of individual pulses from
PSR B2020+28. Once allowances have been made for
interstellar scintillation, the model distributions compare
favorably with observed histograms, except for the position
angle histograms which are wider than one would expect from
a \delta-function that is broadened by instrumental noise.
The flux densities of the orthogonal modes in PSR B2020+28
are found to be highly correlated, suggesting that the
modes are not produced by independent emission mechanisms.

The depolarization of pulsar radio emission has been
attributed to the orthogonal modes or to the randomization
of position angle. A random, or uniform, component of the
position angle will arise from superposed modes that occur
with nearly equal frequency. The random component of
position angle in PSR B2020+28 is shown to be a consequence
of depolarization by the orthogonal modes.

**Program
listing for Tuesday**