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Title: Radio Emission and Electric Gaps in Pulsar Magnetospheres

The origin of pulsar radio emission is one of the old puzzles in theoretical astrophysics. In this Letter, we present a global kinetic plasma simulation that shows from first principles how and where radio emission can be produced in pulsar magnetospheres. We observe the self-consistent formation of electric gaps that periodically ignite electron-positron discharge. The gaps form above the polar cap and in the bulk return current. Discharge of the gaps excites electromagnetic modes, which share several features with the radio emission of real pulsars. We also observe the excitation of plasma waves and charge bunches by beam instabilities in the outer magnetosphere. Our numerical experiment demonstrates that global kinetic models can provide deep insight into the emission physics of pulsars and may help interpret their multiwavelength observations.

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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 Letters
Medium: X Size: Article No. L9
Article No. L9
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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