Probing neutron star evolution using cyclotron lines

Dipankar Bhattacharya and Dipanjan Mukherjee
Inter-University Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics (IUCAA), Pune 411007, India

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Accretion of matter on a neutron star is believed to cause a significant reduction of its magnetic field strength. One popular mechanism for this is the burial of the field under the highly conducting accreted matter. For this to occur, matter in the magnetically confined accretion column on the polar cap of a strongly magnetized star should spread over the stellar surface while causing large distortions in the field structure. Phase resolved cyclotron line spectroscopy can probe these distorted magnetic field structures and help examine such evolution. India’s upcoming satellite ASTROSAT will be uniquely capable of carrying out such observations. This talk will discuss some of the relevant theoretical models and their predictions.

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Keywords : X-rays: binaries – acceretion – magnetic fields – line : formation