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Title: A Pilot Study of Nulling in 22 Pulsars Using Mixture Modeling

The phenomenon of pulsar nulling, observed as the temporary inactivity of a pulsar, remains poorly understood both observationally and theoretically. Most observational studies that quantify nulling employ a variant of Ritchings algorithm, which can suffer significant biases for pulsars where the emission is weak. Using a more robust mixture model method, we study pulsar nulling in a sample of 22 recently discovered pulsars, for which we publish the nulling fractions for the first time. These data clearly demonstrate biases of the former approach and show how an otherwise nonnulling pulsar can be classified as having significant nulls. We show that the population-wide studies that find a positive correlation of nulling with pulsar period/characteristic age can similarly be biased because of the bias in estimating the nulling fraction. We use our probabilistic approach to find the evidence for periodicity in the nulls in a subset of three pulsars in our sample. In addition, we also provide improved timing parameters for 17 of the 22 pulsars that had no prior follow-up.

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Author(s) / Creator(s):
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Publisher / Repository:
DOI PREFIX: 10.3847
Date Published:
Journal Name:
The Astrophysical Journal
Medium: X Size: Article No. 32
["Article No. 32"]
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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