HEAD 2003 Meeting
Session 10. Supernova Remnants III
Poster, Sunday-Wednesday, March 23, 2003, Duration of Meeting

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[10.06] Mass-loading of Pulsar Winds

M. Lyutikov (McGill University, CITA)

The dynamics of relativistic magnetized mass-loaded outflows carrying the toroidal magnetic field is analyzed in the context of Pulsar Wind Nebulae (PWNs). Mass-loading is very efficient in slowing down super-relativistic magnetized flows and weakening of relativistic shocks. We suggest that weakening of relativistic reverse shocks by mass-loading in PWNs is responsible for the low radiative efficiencies of the majority of the PWNs. The evolution of magnetized mass-loaded flows beyond the reverse shock is complicated: after the initial deceleration to the minimal velocity required to transport the magnetic flux, the mass-loaded flows have to accelerate. This formally precludes mass-loaded flows carrying ordered toroidal magnetic field from reaching infinity. Final outcome of mass loading of magnetized winds remains uncertain and may depend on kinetic details of how mass loading occurs.

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Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 35#2
© 2003. The American Astronomical Soceity.