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An accretion model for the anomalous x-ray pulsar 4U 0142+61

Trümper, J. E. and Dennerl, K. and Kylafis, N. D. and Ertan, Ünal and Zezas, A. (2013) An accretion model for the anomalous x-ray pulsar 4U 0142+61. Astrophysical Journal, 764 (1). pp. 49-58. ISSN 0004-637X (Print) 1538-4357 (Online)

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1088/0004-637X/764/1/49

Abstract

We propose that the quiescent emission of anomalous X-ray pulsars/soft gamma-ray repeaters (AXPs/SGRs) is powered by accretion from a fallback disk, requiring magnetic dipole fields in the range 1012-1013 G, and that the luminous hard tails of their X-ray spectra are produced by bulk-motion Comptonization in the radiative shock near the bottom of the accretion column. This radiation escapes as a fan beam, which is partly absorbed by the polar cap photosphere, heating it up to relatively high temperatures. The scattered component and the thermal emission from the polar cap form a polar beam. We test our model on the well-studied AXP 4U 0142+61, whose energy-dependent pulse profiles show double peaks, which we ascribe to the fan and polar beams. The temperature of the photosphere (kT ~ 0.4 keV) is explained by the heating effect. The scattered part forms a hard component in the polar beam. We suggest that the observed high temperatures of the polar caps of AXPs/SGRs, compared with other young neutron stars, are due to the heating by the fan beam. Using beaming functions for the fan beam and the polar beam and taking gravitational bending into account, we fit the energy-dependent pulse profiles and obtain the inclination angle and the angle between the spin axis and the magnetic dipole axis, as well as the height of the radiative shock above the stellar surface. We do not explain the high-luminosity bursts, which may be produced by the classical magnetar mechanism operating in super-strong multipole fields.

Item Type:Article
Uncontrolled Keywords:accretion, accretion disks; pulsars: individual (4U 0142+61); X-rays: stars
Subjects:Q Science > QB Astronomy
Q Science > QC Physics
ID Code:21415
Deposited By:Ünal Ertan
Deposited On:12 Feb 2013 12:12
Last Modified:17 Oct 2014 14:35

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