A model for the energetic emission from pulsars

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A current sheet separates, beyond the closed part of the pulsar magnetosphere, two half-spaces with oppositely directed magnetic fields. It is shown that reconnection in this sheet may provide a source for high-energy emission. Particles heated in the sheet just beyond the closed part of the magnetosphere emit gamma-rays. Electron-positron pairs produced around the sheet due to γ - γ interaction emit in the infrared and optical band. If the number density of the new-born pairs is large enough, they affect the structure of the current sheet and it emits also X-rays. Luminosities in the gamma-ray, X-ray and IR-optical bands are estimated and shown to be consistent with those observed from rapidly-spinning pulsars.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)172-178
Number of pages7
JournalAstronomy and Astrophysics
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Jul 1996
Externally publishedYes


  • Plasmas
  • Pulsars: general
  • Radiation mechanisms: nonthermal
  • Stars: magnetic fields

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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