Binary Pulsars: What they really are

As described in Binary Pulsars Don’t Slow Down, the very existence of binary pulsars beginning with Cen X-3 and Her X-1 is the essence of the NS-Capture theory. This page will begin to explore that in a bit more depth to understand its significance.

The main thing to understand when looking at the pulsars of the Cen X-3 and Her X-1 systems is that they are not going away and their spin rate is not going to slow down. The pulsar and its companion are engaged in an inexorable march to the ultimate destruction of the companion.

That destruction can take multiple forms depending on the nature of the companion and the characteristics of its destruction.

The most dramatic form of the destruction is the Supernova, where the companion spontaneously decomposes as a result of the heat that it has absorbed while the pulsar was speeding up (spinning up) and spiraling in toward the core.

Apparently in the O-type stars, what happens is that the core of the companion, itself decomposes along with the complete atmosphere in a Supernova event.

A way to understand this is that the huge gravity of the giant star enables the supergiant to continue to exist in an overheated form until the final moment where the gravity, itself, was insufficient to hold the supergiant together any longer. At this point the supergiant became gravitationally unbound and the 10**39 ergs/sec being emitted by the pulsar through accretion of the companion (supergiant)’s atmosphere became the driver of the Supernova expansion of the complete supergiant into a giant cloud of destruction as exampled by the Crab nebula.

Note: this model of inevitable supernova from binary pulsar with supergiant companion is one significant reason why the NS-Creation theory is unnecessary. It is unnecessary because the existing X-ray pulsar binaries provide a mechanism which inevitably produces a supernova, and therefore there is no need to invent a collapse mechanism as a second source of supernova events. In addition, the inability of binary pulsars to slow down in the presence of a companion is a stronger reason that prevents the binary pulsar to be created, as opposed to captured, as the NS-Creation theory predicts an initial rapid pulsar spin rate, that cannot slow down. And since it cannot slow down, there is no way a pulsar created in a binary system with a spin rate of 10’s or 100’s of rotations could ever slow down to once every 4.8 sec as in Cen X-3 or once every 1.24 sec as in Her X-1.

However, apparently this is not the only fate of a star that has been caught in the deadly embrace of a neutron star that becomes a pulsar as the result of that embrace.

The second major outcome of a binary pulsar apparently is the case where a smaller star in the range of, say, 1->5 solar masses is the companion.

Note: while NS-Capture refers the the neutron star being “captured” by a regular star, really, it is the companion that is gravitationally captured, and the neutron star that is the captor. However, we will continue to regard the neutron star as being captured by its companion.

In this second case, where the NS is captured by a smaller star, the outcome seems to be that the companion’s atmosphere is blown away but the core of the star, possibly in the form of a white dwarf lives on to continue its losing battle with the 1.4 M-Sun 10-km giant nucleus that is spinning more than 100 times per second on its doorstep.

As described in Bhattacharya, the ultimate fate of the companion is evaporation. Therefore, we have a model for the millisecond pulsars (MSPs). The MSPs are each a neutron star with a close binary star core as its companion.

The rotation rate of the NS is close to its limit, which is where the material caught in its magnetic field with poles rotating around equator with respect to the NS rotation axis, several miles out (50-100 miles) is traveling with an orbital velocity around the neutron star at close to the speed of light.