Pulsar nulling is a phenomenon of sudden cessation of pulse emission for a number of periods. The nulling fraction was often used to characterize the phenomenon. We propose a new method to analyse pulsar nulling phenomenon, by involving two key parameters, the nulling degree, χ, which is defined as the angle in a rectangular coordinates for the numbers of nulling periods and bursting periods, and the nulling scale, N, which is defined as the effective length of the consecutive nulling periods and bursting periods. The nulling degree χ can be calculated by tan χ = Nnulling/Nbursting and the mean is related to the nulling fraction, while the nulling scale, N, is also a newly defined fundamental parameter which indicates how often the nulling occurs. We determined the distributions of χ and N for 10 pulsars by using the data in literature. We found that the nulling degree χ indicates the relative length of nulling to that of bursting, and the nulling scale N is found to be related to the derivative of rotation frequency and hence the loss rate of rotational energy of pulsars. Their deviations reflect the randomness of the nulling process.
pulsars radio sources radiation mechanisms
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