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Paper: Thermal and Non-Thermal Radiation from Pulsars: Hints of Physics
Volume: 466, Electromagnetic Radiation from Pulsars and Magnetars
Page: 129
Authors: Dai, S.; Xu, R.
Abstract: Thermal and non-thermal radiation from pulsars carries significant information from surface and would have profound implications on the state of dense matter in compact stars. For the non-thermal radio emission, subpulse drifting phenomena suggest the existence of Ruderman-Sutherland-like gap-sparking and strong binding of particles on pulsar polar caps. While conventional neutron star models can hardly provide such a high binding energy, the strong self-bound surface of quark-cluster stars can naturally solve this problem. As for the thermal one, the featureless X-ray spectra of pulsars may indicate a bare surface without atmosphere, and the ultrarelativistic fireball of γ-ray bursts and supernovae would also require strong self-bound surfaces. Recent achievements in measuring pulsar mass and mass-radius relation further indicate a stiff equation of state and a self-bound surface. Therefore, we conjecture that matters inside pulsar-like compact stars could be in a quark-cluster phase. The surface of quark-cluster stars is chromatically confined and could initially be bare. Such a surface can not only explain above features, but may also promote a successful core-collapse supernova, and the hydro-cyclotron oscillation of the electron sea above the surface could be responsible for those absorption features detected in the X-ray spectrum.
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