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Astron. Astrophys. 355, 406-412 (2000)

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Resonant inverse Compton scattering by secondary pulsar plasma

Y.E. Lyubarskii and S.A. Petrova

Institute of Radio Astronomy, Chervonopraporna St.4, Kharkov, 310002 Ukraine

Received 22 July 1999 / Accepted 7 December 1999


We consider resonant inverse Compton scattering of thermal photons by secondary particles above the pulsar polar gap. At neutron star temperatures higher than [FORMULA] K the process appears to be an essential energy loss mechanism for the particles. The distribution function of the secondary plasma particles is found to be strongly affected by the scattering. It becomes two-humped implying the development of two-stream instability. The resonantly upscattered Compton photons are found to gain energy of 1-10 MeV forming an additional component in the pulsar gamma-ray spectrum. The corresponding gamma-ray flux is estimated as well.

Key words: plasmas – scattering – stars: pulsars: general – gamma rays: theory

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© European Southern Observatory (ESO) 2000

Online publication: March 17, 2000