The past, present and future of pulsars

The past, present and future of pulsars On the 50th anniversary of the accidental discovery of pulsars (pulsating radio stars, also known as neutron stars) I reflect on the process of their detection and how our understanding of these stars gradually grew. Fifty years on, we have a much better (but still incomplete) understanding of these extreme objects, which I summarize here. The study of pulsars is advancing several areas of fundamental physics, including general relativity, particle physics, condensed-matter physics, and radiation processes in extreme electric and magnetic fields. New observational facilities coming online in the radio regime (such as the Five hundred meter Aperture Spherical Telescope and the Square Kilometre Array precursors) will revolutionize the search for pulsars by accessing thousands more, thus ushering in a new era of discovery for the field. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Nature Astronomy Springer Journals

The past, present and future of pulsars

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Publisher
Nature Publishing Group UK
Copyright
Copyright © 2017 by The Author(s)
Subject
Physics; Physics, general; Astronomy, Astrophysics and Cosmology
eISSN
2397-3366
D.O.I.
10.1038/s41550-017-0323-x
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

On the 50th anniversary of the accidental discovery of pulsars (pulsating radio stars, also known as neutron stars) I reflect on the process of their detection and how our understanding of these stars gradually grew. Fifty years on, we have a much better (but still incomplete) understanding of these extreme objects, which I summarize here. The study of pulsars is advancing several areas of fundamental physics, including general relativity, particle physics, condensed-matter physics, and radiation processes in extreme electric and magnetic fields. New observational facilities coming online in the radio regime (such as the Five hundred meter Aperture Spherical Telescope and the Square Kilometre Array precursors) will revolutionize the search for pulsars by accessing thousands more, thus ushering in a new era of discovery for the field.

Journal

Nature AstronomySpringer Journals

Published: Dec 1, 2017

References

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