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Unraveling the Mysteries of Gamma-Ray Pulsars: A Synergy of Observations, Fundamental Analysis, and Simulations

Presentation #107.40 in the session Stellar/Compact Objects - Poster Session.

Published onMay 03, 2024
Unraveling the Mysteries of Gamma-Ray Pulsars: A Synergy of Observations, Fundamental Analysis, and Simulations

We present a comprehensive analysis that combines Fermi pulsar observations, state-of-the-art global kinetic particle-in-cell (PIC) simulations, and theoretical insights, which significantly enhance our understanding of gamma-ray pulsars. We investigate the fundamental plane relation of gamma-ray pulsars using an expanded sample of 190 pulsars from the latest 4FGL-DR3 catalog that fed the third pulsar catalog, more than doubling the original study’s dataset. By constructing synthetic phase-averaged spectra and deriving the best-fit cutoff energy, we refine the fundamental plane relation, which is in alignment with theoretical predictions for curvature radiation. Our kinetic PIC models reveal that the gamma-ray emission is regulated by the pair production efficiency in the separatrix zone that separates the open and closed field lines. Our PIC models not only align with the fundamental plane of gamma-ray pulsars and observed gamma-ray light-curve patterns but also challenge the conventional estimations of total gamma-ray luminosities in Fermi catalogs. We also investigate why the Fermi pulsars occupy specific regions within the fundamental plane. Our findings illuminate the role of the radiation reaction limit, delineating the ‘death lines’ and ‘death valleys’ for young and millisecond gamma-ray pulsars. This exploration suggests the existence of an as-yet-undetected population of MeV pulsars, underscoring the potential of upcoming MeV space telescope missions like AMEGO-X. Finally, we demonstrate that our results and considerations align with recent breakthroughs, such as the detection of very-high-energy (up to 20 TeV) emission from the Vela pulsar. The integration of observations with PIC simulations and fundamental theoretical analysis provides a comprehensive description of gamma-ray pulsars.

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