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Revisiting Field Burial by Accretion onto Neutron Stars

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The surface magnetic field strength of millisecond pulsars (MSPs) is found to be about 4 orders of magnitude lower than that of garden variety radio pulsars (with a spin of \({\sim }\)0.5–5 s and \(B{\sim }10^{12}\hbox { G}\)). The exact mechanism of the apparent reduction of field strength in MSPs is still a subject of debate. One of the proposed mechanisms is burial of the surface magnetic field under matter accreted from a companion. In this article we review the recent work on magnetic confinement of accreted matter on neutron stars poles. We present the solutions of the magneto-static equations with a more accurate equation of state of the magnetically confined plasma and discuss its implications for the field burial mechanism.

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  1. Plasma \(\beta \) is the ratio of gas to magnetic pressure: \(\beta =P_\mathrm{gas}/P_\mathrm{magnetic }\).


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Majority of the results discussed in this review are from work performed as part of the author’s Ph.D. thesis under the supervision of Dr. Dipankar Bhattacharya. The author has greatly benefitted from the exchange of ideas and collaborations with several colleagues on topics related to magnetic field evolution on neutron stars, and gratefully thank Dipankar Bhattacharya, Sushan Konar, Henk Spruit, Andrea Mignone, Michiel van der Klis, Yuri Levin and Andrew Melatos for fruitful discussions. He also thanks the referee for the thorough scrutiny and helpful suggestions to improve the text.

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Correspondence to Dipanjan Mukherjee.

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Mukherjee, D. Revisiting Field Burial by Accretion onto Neutron Stars. J Astrophys Astron 38, 48 (2017).

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