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Very-High-Energy Emission from the Crab Pulsar

Presentation #205.02 in the session “50 Years of Gamma-Ray Observations at the Whipple Observatory”.

Published onApr 01, 2022
Very-High-Energy Emission from the Crab Pulsar

After several decades of searching for pulsed VHE emission from rotation-powered pulsars by ground-based Cherenkov telescopes, a successful first detection of the Crab pulsar was made by MAGIC in 2008 at an energy of 25 GeV. This was followed by a VERITAS detection of pulsed photons at energy up to 400 GeV and a subsequent MAGIC detection of emission up to 1.5 TeV in 2016. Although pulsed VHE emission had long been predicted by pulsar models, these new results were not in agreement with the previous predictions and thus were both a surprise and a new challenge for theorists. I will review these discoveries and how modelers have met the new challenges posed by the observations, which require additional emission mechanisms and significantly constrain the radiating particle populations and locations in the pulsar magnetosphere.


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