Astrophysics and Space Science

, Volume 77, Issue 2, pp 279–297 | Cite as

On the theory of X-ray pulsar radiation

  • V. V. Zheleznyakov


The origin of hard X-ray spectrum (continuum and cyclotron lines) of pulsars in binary systems is discussed. A model of the polar region of a neutron star consisting of a hot spot in a dense plasma atmosphere with a quasi-homogeneous magnetic field and an extended accreting column in an inhomogeneous dipolar field is investigated. In the hot spot bremsstrahlung and Thomson scattering form continuum radiation, while bremsstrahlung and cyclotron scattering produce the absorption cyclotron lines. By the observed continuum intensity one can estimate the maximum distances to pulsars. Cyclotron scattering in gyro-resonant layers localized in the accreting column leads to a general attenuation of the radiation of a hot spot, but is unable to ensure the formation of cyclotron lines. For strong accretion the hot spot radiation becomes insignificant, the lines disappear and the pulsating component of an X-ray pulsar is produced by the accreting column bremsstrahlung transformed by Thomson scattering.


Neutron Star General Attenuation Continuum Intensity Plasma Atmosphere Pulsate Component 
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Copyright information

© D. Reidel Publishing Company 1981

Authors and Affiliations

  • V. V. Zheleznyakov
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of Applied PhysicsGorkyGermany

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