HEAD Division Meeting 1999, April 1999
Session 36. SNRs and Isolated NS
Oral, Thursday, April 15, 1999, 8:30am-10:01am, Colonial Room

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[36.01] Radio-quiet X-ray Pulsars and the ``Missing'' Pulsar Problem

E. V. Gotthelf (Columbia), G. Vasisht (Caltech)

We propose a simple explanation for the apparent lack of radio pulsars associated with young supernova remnants (SNRs). Recent X-ray observations of young remnants have revealed slowly rotating (P ~10\rm{-s}) central pulsars with pulsed emission above 2 keV, lacking in detectable radio emission. Some of these objects apparently have enormous magnetic fields, evolving in a manner distinct from the Crab pulsar. Magnetic field decay likely accounts for their high X-ray luminosity, which cannot be explained as rotational energy loss, as for the Crab-like pulsars. We conclude that spun-down pulsars are the long sought after neutron stars in SNRs and that the Crab-like pulsars are, in fact, the rare, but more highly visible example of these stellar embers. We suggest that the natal magnetic field strength of these objects control their subsequent evolution. In the tally presented herein, there are currently a dozen slow X-ray pulsars associated with young SNRs; these include the four known soft \gamma-ray repeaters, which have recently been confirmed as slow rotators. Remarkably, there are now more known slow, radio-quiet X-ray pulsars in the centers of identified SNRs than confirmed Crab-like radio pulsars.

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