What is the “secret” of the pulsars?
January 19, 2021
The “secret” of the pulsars is rooted in a fundamental contradiction between the spin data of observed neutron star pulsars and the current theory (NS-Creation) that is used to explain the existence of pulsars.
The pulsar spin data can be generally characterized as falling in two broad categories:
- There are relatively fast spinning pulsars that are slowing down: these are isolated pulsars often found in supernova remnants such as the Crab Nebula.
- There are relatively slow spinning pulsars that are speeding up: these are pulsars that are found in binary systems where the pulsar is one member of the binary, such as Cen X-3 and Her X-1.
The data also shows that the reason that the slow neutron star pulsars are speeding up is that the neutron star is very close to its companion and its gravitational field is drawing material in from the companion (a process called “accretion”) along the neutron star’s magnetic field lines, which acts as a force causing the neutron star to spin faster much like when a figure skater pulls his/her arms in causing the skater to spin faster.
The data also shows that the neutron star pulsars that are slowing down is the result of radiation from the neutron star’s magnetic field poles that are perpendicular to the spin axis causing a lighthouse type effect, which is the source of the “pulses” observed from the neutron star pulsar.
Therefore, the data shows that there is a well understood mechanism for both:
- the slowing down of a fast-spinning pulsar and for
- the speeding up of a slow spinning pulsar.
Unfortunately, these observations and these well understood spin-up and spin-down mechanisms are in direct contradiction with the commonly accepted theory of pulsar creation, which on this site is referred to as “NS-Creation” that claims that a pulsar is created as the result of a supernova explosion where a star self-destructs in an “explosion” and creates the fast spinning neutron star as a result of the corresponding “implosion”.
So, what is this “contradiction”?
For an isolated spinning down pulsar, the NS-Creation theory is plausible. However, when the NS-Creation theory is applied to the creation of the observed slow spinning-up pulsars in binary systems, the contradiction is the following:
- If a fast-spinning pulsar is created by one member of a binary star system experiencing a supernova, then the fast-spinning pulsar is left in the binary with its companion star.
- However, in order to explain the observations of slow spinning pulsars found in binary systems that are speeding up, then the fast spinning pulsar must be able to slow down.
- But, the fast spinning pulsar in the binary system cannot slow down because it is in an environment, where all it can do is speed up!
- Therefore, we need a new explanation of how a slow-spinning speeding-up pulsar can be found in a binary system.
- That explanation is called “NS-Capture”, and it is the main subject of discussion on the Secret of the Pulsars web site.
The NS-Capture theory claims that the origin of slow-spinning speeding-up pulsars in binary systems, is the result of a previously unbound neutron star passing in close proximity to a normal star and becoming bound as a result of the tidal forces being generated by the gravitational interaction of the neutron star and the normal star when they come in relatively close contact.
The NS-Capture theory is the “secret of the pulsars” that is revealed by the above analysis of the spin data of isolated and binary pulsars. This analysis is covered in much more depth in the content pages on this web site.