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Preprint 07b/05

Cyclotron line studies in magnetized X-ray pulsars

G. Schönherr (1,2,3), J. Wilms (2), P. Kretschmar (3), I. Kreykenbohm (1,4), W. Coburn (5), R.E. Rothschild (6), A. Santangelo (6)

(1) Institut für Astronomie und Astrophysik, Universität Tübingen, Sand 1, 72076 Tübingen, Germany
(2) Department of Physics, University of Warwick, Coventry CV4 7AL, UK
(3) European Space Astronomy Centre, ESA, Apartado 50727, 28080 Madrid, Spain
(4) INTEGRAL Science Data Centre, 16 Chemin d'Ecogia, 1290 Versoix, Switzerland
(5) Space Science Laboratory, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720-7450, USA
(6) Center for Astrophysics & Space Sciences, University of California, San Diego, CA 92093-0111, USA

To be published in: Proceedings of "The X-ray Universe 2005", San Lorenzo de El Escorial (Spain), 26-30 September 2005

Abstract. Cyclotron resonance scattering features (CRSFs), also referred to simply as 'cyclotron lines', are detected as absorption lines in high-energy spectra of magnetized accreting neutron stars. They form in the presence of a strong magnetic field due to resonant scattering processes with electrons which are quantized in discrete Landau energy levels perpendicular to the B-field. Providing the only direct estimate of the magnetic field strength of an accreting neutron star, cyclotron lines are of fundamental importance to understanding the physics of magnetized X-ray pulsars. Their line profiles reflect the geometrical and physical properties of the accretion column near the magnetic poles of the neutron star, and therefore constitute a diagnostic tool for accessing the physics of accretion. Todays high-energy telescopes allow for a resolution of those line shapes. Continuing an earlier approach by P. Kretschmar (P. Kretschmar et al.,2004), and making a renewed effort of simulating cyclotron lines with a revised Monte Carlo code based on the work of R.Araya (Araya & Harding, 1999), we fit our theoretical models to recent observational data.
Key words: CRSFs; neutron stars; γ; X-rays

Preprint (45 kb PDF file including figures)

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