Accretion Phenomena at Neutron Stars

  • A. Rebetzky
  • H. Herold
  • U. Kraus
  • H.-P. Nollert
  • H. Ruder
Conference paper
Part of the Reviews in Modern Astronomy book series (MOD.ASTRONOMY, volume 3)


The basic picture of an X-ray pulsar is that of a strongly magnetized neutron star which accretes matter from its companion. The reason for mass transfer can be a strong wind of the companion or a Roche-lobe overflow from the companion through the inner Lagrangian point. In the latter case the matter forms an accretion disk around the neutron star, in which it spirals inwards and heats up due to viscous interaction. If the neutron star is strongly magnetized, the disk does not reach to the surface of the neutron star, because at the Alfven radius the matter is dominated by the magnetic forces. The physics of this region, where the matter couples to the magnetic field lines, is not yet fully understood. The ionized matter which is on the field lines is accelerated by the strong gravitational field and falls along the magnetic field lines towards the magnetic poles of the neutron star, where it reaches velocities of about c/2 (c = is the velocity of light). The fully ionized matter is stopped in the atmosphere of the neutron star and its kinetic energy is converted into radiation energy. This region, where the radiation is produced, is called the “hot spot”.


Neutron Star Radiative Transfer Light Curve Magnetic Field Line Diffusion Approximation 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Trümper, J., et al: Ap.J. Lett, 219, L 105 (1978)ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Voges, W.: MPE Report 191, (1985)Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    White, T.R., Lightman, A.P., Zdziarski, A.A.: Ap.J., 331, 939 (1988)ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Lightman, A.P., Lamb, D.Q., Rybicki, G.B.: Ap.J., 248, 738 (1981)ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Rappaport, S., Joss, P.C.: in R. Giacconi (ed.) X-ray Astronomy with the Einstein Satellite, Reidel, Dordrecht, Holland (1981)Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    McCray, R., Shull, J., Boynton, P., Deeter, J., Holt, S, White, N.: Ap.J., 262, 301 (1982)ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Davidson, K.: Nature, 246, 1 (1973)ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Basko, M.M., Sunyaev, R.A.: M.N.R.A.S., 175, 395 (1976)ADSGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Kirk, J.G., Galloway, K.: Plasma Physics, 24, 359 (1982)ADSGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Kirk, J.G.: A.&A., 158, 305 (1986)ADSGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Kirk, J.G., Mészàros, P.: Ap.J., 241, 1153 (1980)ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Wang, Y.-M., Frank, J.: A.&A., 93, 255 (1981)ADSMATHGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Arons, J., Klein, R.I., Lea, S.M.: Ap.J., 312, 606 (1987)ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Blandford, R.D., Payne, D.G.: M.N.R.A.S., 194, 1041 (1981)ADSMATHGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Burnard, D.J., Klein, R.L, Arons, J.: preprint, UCLR-100802, Univ. of Cai. (1989)Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Castor, J.L, Abbott, D.C., Klein, R.: Ap.J., 195, 157 (1975)ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Nagel, W.: Ap.J., 251, 278 (1981)ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Nagel, W.: Ap.J., 251, 288 (1981)ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Maile, T.: Dissertation, Universität Tübingen (1989)Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    Maile, T., Herold, H., Rebetzky, A., Ruder, H., Ventura, J., Wolf, K.: A.&A., 223, 251 (1989)ADSGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Rebetzky, A., Herold, H., Maile, T., Ruder, H., Wolf, K.: A.&A., 205, 215 (1988)ADSMATHGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Rebetzky, A., Bock, U., Herold, H., Kraus, U., Maile, T., Nollert, H.-P., Ruder, H., Wolf, K.: A.&A., 225, 137 (1988)ADSGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Mészàros, P., Nagel, W.: Ap.J., 298, 147 (1985)ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Riffert, H.: Ap.J., 327, 760 (1988)ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Kraus, U., Rebetzky, A., Herold, H., Nollert, H.-P., Maile, T., Ruder, H.: ESA Proc. SP-296, 23nd ESLAB Symposium, Bologna (1989)Google Scholar
  26. 26.
    Nollert, H.-P., Kraus, U., Herold, H., Maile, T., Rebetzky, A., Ruder, H.: ESA Proc. SP-296, 23nd ESLAB Symposium, Bologna (1989)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. Rebetzky
    • 1
  • H. Herold
    • 1
  • U. Kraus
    • 1
  • H.-P. Nollert
    • 1
  • H. Ruder
    • 1
  1. 1.Lehr- und Forschungsbereich Theoretische AstrophysikUniversität TübingenTübingenFed. Rep. of Germany

Personalised recommendations