We investigate the particle accelerator that arises in a rotating neutron-star magnetosphere. Solving the Poisson equation for the electro-static potential, the Boltzmann equations for relativistic electrons and positrons, and the radiative transfer equation simultaneously, we demonstrate that the electric field is substantially screened along the magnetic field lines by the pairs that are created and separated within the accelerator. As a result, the magnetic-field-aligned electric field is localized in the higher altitudes near the light cylinder and efficiently accelerates the positrons created in the lower altitudes outwards but not the electrons inwards. The resulting photon flux becomes predominantly outwards, leading to typical double-peak light curves, which are commonly observed from many high-energy pulsars.
Wed, 10 Dec 14
Comments: 5 pages, 5 figures; Accepted for publication in ApJ Letters