Resistivity and Dissipation in Pulsar Magnetospheres
September 27, 2012
Abstract: Current models of pulsar magnetospheres typically assume either a complete absence of plasma or abundant ideal plasma filling the magnetosphere. The latter condition is thought to be closer to reality, but we know of a number of pulsars in which the ideal conditions break down, resulting in dissipation and high-energy emission. In this work we formulate a resistive force-free scheme that allows us to consider the effects of resistive plasma and accelerating fields on the magnetospheric structure. We run numerical simulations to construct a family of resistive solutions that smoothly bridges the gap between the vacuum and the force-free magnetosphere solutions. We further provide a self-consistent model for the spin-down of intermittent pulsars, pulsars which appear to transition between radio-loud and radio-quiet states with different spin-down rates. Finally, we present models for high-energy emission from reconnecting current sheets in Gamma-ray pulsars.