Population synthesis of isolated neutron stars with magneto-rotational evolution - II. From radio-pulsars to magnetars

M. Gullón, J. A. Pons, J. A. Miralles, D. Viganò, N. Rea, R. Perna

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    © 2015 The Authors. Population synthesis studies constitute a powerful method to reconstruct the birth distribution of periods and magnetic fields of the pulsar population. When this method is applied to populations in different wavelengths, it can break the degeneracy in the inferred properties of initial distributions that arises from single-band studies. In this context, we extend previous works to include X-ray thermal emitting pulsars within the same evolutionary model as radiopulsars. We find that the cumulative distribution of the number of X-ray pulsars can be well reproduced by several models that, simultaneously, reproduce the characteristics of the radiopulsar distribution. However, even considering the most favourablemagneto-thermal evolution models with fast field decay, lognormal distributions of the initial magnetic field overpredict the number of visible sources with periods longer than 12 s. We then show that the problem can be solved with different distributions of magnetic field, such as a truncated lognormal distribution, or a binormal distribution with two distinct populations.We use the observational lack of isolated neutron stars (NSs) with spin periods P > 12 s to establish an upper limit to the fraction of magnetars born with B > 1015 G (less than 1 per cent). As future detections keep increasing the magnetar and high-B pulsar statistics, our approach can be used to establish a severe constraint on the maximum magnetic field at birth of NSs.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)615-625
    JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2015


    • Pulsars: general
    • Stars: magnetic field
    • Stars: neutron


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