Strongly Magnetized Pulsars: Explosive Events and Evolution

  • Konstantinos N. GourgouliatosEmail author
  • Paolo Esposito
Part of the Astrophysics and Space Science Library book series (ASSL, volume 457)


Well before the radio discovery of pulsars offered the first observational confirmation for their existence (Hewish et al., Nature 217:709–713, 1968), it had been suggested that neutron stars might be endowed with very strong magnetic fields of 1010–1014 G (Hoyle et al., Nature 203:914–916, 1964; Pacini, Nature 216:567–568, 1967). It is because of their magnetic fields that these otherwise small ed inert, cooling dead stars emit radio pulses and shine in various part of the electromagnetic spectrum. But the presence of a strong magnetic field has more subtle and sometimes dramatic consequences: In the last decades of observations indeed, evidence mounted that it is likely the magnetic field that makes of an isolated neutron star what it is among the different observational manifestations in which they come. The contribution of the magnetic field to the energy budget of the neutron star can be comparable or even exceed the available kinetic energy. The most magnetised neutron stars in particular, the magnetars, exhibit an amazing assortment of explosive events, underlining the importance of their magnetic field in their lives. In this chapter we review the recent observational and theoretical achievements, which not only confirmed the importance of the magnetic field in the evolution of neutron stars, but also provide a promising unification scheme for the different observational manifestations in which they appear. We focus on the role of their magnetic field as an energy source behind their persistent emission, but also its critical role in explosive events.



KNG acknowledges the support of STFC Grant No. ST/N000676/1. PE acknowledges funding in the framework of the NWO Vidi award A.2320.0076.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Konstantinos N. Gourgouliatos
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Paolo Esposito
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Applied MathematicsUniversity of LeedsLeedsUK
  2. 2.Department of Mathematical SciencesDurham UniversityDurhamUK
  3. 3.Anton Pannekoek Institute for AstronomyUniversity of AmsterdamAmsterdamThe Netherlands

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