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Astron. Astrophys. 322, 489-492 (1997)

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Modelling the variance of dispersion measures of radio pulsars

Gijs Nelemans 1, Jan Willem Hartman 1, Frank Verbunt 1, Dipankar Bhattacharya 2 and Ralph A.M.J. Wijers 3

1 Astronomical Institute, Utrecht University, P.O. Box 80000, 3508 TA Utrecht, The Netherlands
2 Raman Research Institute, 560 080 Bangalore, India
3 Institute of Astronomy, Madingley Road, 0HA CB3 Cambridge, UK

Received 16 July 1996 / Accepted 1 October 1996


On the basis of a highly simplified model for small scale structure in the electron density distribution in the Galaxy, we argue that the spread of expectation values for the dispersion measure at given distance is proportional to the square root of the dispersion measure as found from a smooth model for the electron distribution. We show that this simple method leads to appreciable improvement in the description of dispersion measures in a full population synthesis.

Key words: pulsars: general – ISM: structure

Send offprint requests to: F. Verbunt

© European Southern Observatory (ESO) 1997

Online publication: June 5, 1998