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Journal Article

Radiative damping and emission signatures of strong superluminal waves in pulsar winds

MPS-Authors
http://pubman.mpdl.mpg.de/cone/persons/resource/persons36454

Mochol,  Iwona
Division Prof. Dr. Werner Hofmann, MPI for Nuclear Physics, Max Planck Society;

http://pubman.mpdl.mpg.de/cone/persons/resource/persons30680

Kirk,  John G.
Division Prof. Dr. Werner Hofmann, MPI for Nuclear Physics, Max Planck Society;

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Fulltext (public)

1308.0950.pdf
(Preprint), 185KB

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Citation

Mochol, I., & Kirk, J. G. (2013). Radiative damping and emission signatures of strong superluminal waves in pulsar winds. Astrophysical Journal, 776(1): 40. doi:10.1088/0004-637X/776/1/40.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-0014-9F28-3
Abstract
We analyse the damping by radiation reaction and by Compton drag of strong, superluminal electromagnetic waves in the context of pulsar winds. The associated radiation signature is found by estimating the efficiency and the characteristic radiation frequencies. Applying these estimates to the gamma-ray binary containing PSR B1259-63, we show that the GeV flare observed by Fermi-LAT can be understood as inverse Compton emission by particles scattering photons from the companion star, if the pulsar wind termination shock acquires a precursor of superluminal waves roughly 30 days after periastron. This constrains the mass-loading factor of the wind $\mu=L/\dot{N}mc^2$ (where $L$ is the luminosity and $\dot{N}$ the rate of loss of electrons and positrons) to be roughly $6\times 10^4$.