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  Comparing models of the periodic variations in spin-down and beam-width for PSR B1828-11

Ashton, G., Jones, D. I., & Prix, R. (2016). Comparing models of the periodic variations in spin-down and beam-width for PSR B1828-11. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 458(1), 881-899. doi:10.1093/mnras/stw334.

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Item Permalink: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-0028-9C83-0 Version Permalink: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-002C-48EB-9
Genre: Journal Article

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 Creators:
Ashton, G., Author
Jones, D. I., Author
Prix, R.1, Author              
Affiliations:
1Observational Relativity and Cosmology, AEI-Hannover, MPI for Gravitational Physics, Max Planck Society, escidoc:24011              

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Free keywords: Astrophysics, Solar and Stellar Astrophysics, astro-ph.SR, Astrophysics, High Energy Astrophysical Phenomena, astro-ph.HE
 Abstract: We build a framework using tools from Bayesian data analysis to evaluate models explaining the periodic variations in spin-down and beam-width of PSR B1828-11. The available data consists of the time averaged spin-down rate, which displays a distinctive double-peaked modulation, and measurements of the beam-width. Two concepts exist in the literature that are capable of explaining these variations; we will formulate predictive models from these and quantitatively compare them. The first concept is phenomenological and stipulates that the magnetosphere undergoes periodic switching between two meta-stable states as first suggested by Lyne et al. (2010). The second concept, precession, was first considered as a candidate for the modulation of B1828-11 by Stairs et al. (2000). We quantitatively compare models built from these concepts using a Bayesian odds-ratio. Because the phenomenological switching model itself was informed by this data in the first place, it is difficult to specify appropriate parameter- space priors that can be trusted for an unbiased model comparison. Therefore we first perform a parameter estimation using the spin-down data, and then use the resulting posterior distributions as priors for model comparison on the beam-width data. We find that a precession model with a simple circular Gaussian beam geometry fails to appropriately describe the data, while allowing for a more general beam geometry results in a model that seems strongly preferred by the data over a switching model.

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 Dates: 2015-10-132016
 Publication Status: Published in print
 Pages: 20 pages, 6 figures
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 Table of Contents: -
 Rev. Method: -
 Identifiers: arXiv: 1510.03579
URI: http://arxiv.org/abs/1510.03579
DOI: 10.1093/mnras/stw334
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Title: Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
  Other : Mon. Not. R. Astron. Soc.
Source Genre: Journal
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Publ. Info: Oxford : Oxford University Press
Pages: - Volume / Issue: 458 (1) Sequence Number: - Start / End Page: 881 - 899 Identifier: ISSN: 1365-8711
CoNE: http://pubman.mpdl.mpg.de/cone/journals/resource/1000000000024150