Neutron Stars in the Light of Square Kilometre Array: Data, Statistics and Science
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The Square Kilometre Array (SKA), when it becomes functional, is expected to enrich Neutron Star (NS) catalogues by at least an order of magnitude over their current state. This includes the discovery of new NS objects leading to better sampling of under-represented NS categories, precision measurements of intrinsic properties such as spin period and magnetic field, as also data on related phenomena such as microstructure, nulling, glitching, etc. This will present a unique opportunity to seek answers to interesting and fundamental questions about the extreme physics underlying these exotic objects in the Universe. In this paper, we first present a meta-analysis (from a methodological viewpoint) of statistical analyses performed using existing NS data, with a two-fold goal. First, this should bring out how statistical models and methods are shaped and dictated by the science problem being addressed. Second, it is hoped that these analyses will provide useful starting points for deeper analyses involving richer data from SKA whenever it becomes available. We also describe a few other areas of NS science which we believe will benefit from SKA which are of interest to the Indian NS community.
Key wordsSquare Kilometre Array (SKA) neutron stars statistical science statistical methods data modeling and analysis.
The first author, MA would like to thank Sushan Konar and Dipanjan Mitra for discussions, encouragement and critical comments. We would like to thank the anonymous referee for a thorough and meticulous review and for useful suggestions that have helped improve this paper. We would like to thank Cristóbal Espinoza for drawing our attention to the fact that no plan for regular monitoring of young glitching pulsars using SKA is specified at present. Such a plan is desirable for obtaining more and better glitch data, which will in turn enable researchers to apply and improve upon the methods discussed in this paper. This will also help understand many other properties of young pulsars; see Watts et al. (arXiv:1501.00042) for details.
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