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Why do pulsars emit radiation from both poles?

  1. Feb 9, 2016 #1
    Hi everyone,

    The charged particles in the magnetic field around the neuton star, is accelerated along the magnetic field lines, which would go in a curve, from the north pole to the south pole. Due to the acceleration the particles will emit radiation, along their movement axis, and because the field lines is strongest at the poles, this is why we say they emit radiation from the poles.

    But do both protons and electrons move along the magnetic field lines, or is it only the electrons? If both move along, why does a pulsar emit radiation from the south pole, and not only from the north pole? What i mean, is when the particles move towards the south pole, wouldn't they emit radiation toward the pole too, and not away from the star as on the north pole.

    And if the positively charged particles move the other direction against the field lines, wouldn't they crash together and literally **** everything up? But what i thought i understood, is that both move along the field lines, but have opposite rotation around the field lines.

    One thing more. If i understood this right, so the reason the particles is getting in the magnetosphere, is around the neutron star, a electric field occurs due to the plasma beeing accelerated around in the magnetosphere. This accellerates the electric charged particle up in the magnetic field. But if this is correct, how does that work in any way? I mean if, at first it is electrons who is in the plasma, then wouldn't the protons be accelerated up in the magnetosphere and align the electric potential? So how can a electric field occur?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 10, 2016 #2

    mfb

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    Why would you expect particles or radiation to follow our (human) arbitrary definition of "direction" (N->S) of field lines?
     
  4. Feb 10, 2016 #3
    Well, i can't explain why. But like on earth, it seems like when charged particles is in a magnetosphere, they have a tendency to move in a helix along the magnetic field lines. This creates something called synchrotron radiation, where the photons is radiated along the particles movement axis.
     
  5. Feb 11, 2016 #4

    mfb

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    Right, and particles can have this helix in both directions.
     
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