(web site begun: 09/2017)
A Word About Me
Hi, my name is Rich Levinson, and the reason I am developing this website is to follow up on the work I did on X-ray pulsars between 1971 and 1973, when I worked at American Science and Engineering (AS&E) in Cambridge, MA.
I worked on processing data from the Uhuru X-ray Astronomy Satellite on the team led by Riccardo Giacconi, the recognized “Father of X-ray Astronomy”, which led to him being a Nobel Prize winner in 2002.
My work at AS&E included making the discoveries that both the Cen X-3 and Her X-1 pulsars are members of close binary eclipsing systems; and because of that, it became obvious that the x-rays they emit are fueled by the pulsars interacting with the atmospheres of their respective companions.
In addition, I discovered that unlike all the other isolated pulsars known at that time that had spin rates that were slowing down, the spin rates of the binary x-ray pulsars had spin rates that were actually speeding up, a totally unexpected phenomenon.
After 1973, my career evolved into software engineering, where I remained until I recently retired and have more time to dedicate to this work on binary x-ray pulsars. However, those discoveries about the Cen X-3 and Her X-1 spin rates left a lasting impression on me and I continued to try to resolve the puzzles presented by the behavior of these pulsars.
The complementary behavior between isolated spinning-down pulsars and binary spinning-up pulsars presented a problem in my mind. Since pulsars are basically simply spinning neutron stars, there must be some common explanation for the existence of both the spinning-down isolated pulsars and the spinning-up binary pulsars.
The solution to this puzzle came to me in October 1974 in the course of the following event:
On October 6, 1974, after my wife, Betsy, and I, brought our first child, Rob, into the world, I had some moments of deep reflection.
As my mind wandered, I suddenly realized that there is a fundamental contradiction between the theory that supernova explosions create neutron star pulsars, and the observations of isolated spinning-down pulsars and binary spinning-up pulsars. That realization was that the supernova explanation for the spinning-up pulsars in the binary systems simply could not hold and that the only answer was that the neutron star had to have been introduced to its companion by some external mechanism.
That contradiction and its implication are covered in depth on this website. The implication is that, if supernova explosions are associated with fast pulsars that are spinning down, and close binary pulsars are slow and spinning up, then the explanation that the supernova produced the pulsar must be false.
And, in fact, the opposite must be true, because a fast pulsar in a close binary that speeds it up, cannot slow down.
i.e. it must be that the cause of a supernova explosion is a slow spinning-up pulsar (that continues to spin-up to become a fast-spinning pulsar) in a close binary system that eventually causes the pulsar’s companion to explode.
The actual cause of the supernova explosion is the tremendous build-up of heat in the companion that is generated by the x-rays emitted by the spinning-up pulsar.
In the years following my 1974 discovery of the contradiction and its implications, Betsy, Rob, and our other two children, Peter and Hillary, have encouraged me to keep this theory alive, and so, as a result, the Secret of the Pulsars, as explained by the Neutron Star (NS) Capture Theory is now ready to be introduced to all who may be interested.
This website is dedicated to exploring the implications of this logic, which leads us to a whole new conceptualization for understanding the observations that have been made in several branches of astrophysics.
I invite your comments and related information on the topic. www.secretofthepulsars.com