Looking into the Theory of Pulsar Accretion: The Case of XTE J1946+274





Citation of Original Publication

Marcu, Diana M., Katja Pottschmidt, Amy Gottlieb, Michael T. Wolff, Peter A. Becker, Joern Wilms, Carlo Ferrigno, and Kent S. Wood. “Looking into the Theory of Pulsar Accretion: The Case of XTE J1946+274.” In Proceedings of 10th INTEGRAL Workshop: A Synergistic View of the High-Energy Sky — PoS(Integral2014), 228:065. SISSA Medialab, 2015. https://doi.org/10.22323/1.228.0065.


This work was written as part of one of the author's official duties as an Employee of the United States Government and is therefore a work of the United States Government. In accordance with 17 U.S.C. 105, no copyright protection is available for such works under U.S. Law.
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This is an overview of pulsar accretion modeling. The physics of pulsar accretion, i.e., the process of plasma flow onto the neutron star surface, can be constrained from the spectral properties of the X-ray source. We discuss a new implementation of the physical continuum model developed by Becker and Wolff (2007, ApJ 654, 435). The model incorporates Comptonized blackbody, bremsstrahlung, and cyclotron emission. We discuss preliminary results of applying the new tool to the test cases of Suzaku data of Cen X-3 and XTE J1946+274. Cen X-3 is a persistent accreting pulsar with an O-star companion observed during a bright period. XTE J1946+274 is a transient accreting pulsar with a Be companion observed during a dim period. Both sources show spectra that are well described with an empirical Fermi Dirac cutoff power law model. We extend the spectral analysis by making the first steps towards a physical description of Cen X-3 and XTE J1946+274.