Neutron stars show a bewildering array of observational properties which range from mild-mannered, faint pulsations to unpredictable blasts of X-rays and gamma-rays that can occasionally but briefly outshine the entire Galaxy in these bands. From the dramatic magnetars to the generally calmer radio pulsars, from the sporadic Rotation Radio Transients to the mysterious `isolated neutron stars’, observational manifestations of neutron stars are surprisingly assorted, with many properties totally unpredicted and yet unexplained. In this talk I will describe this apparent pulsar pot-pourri and its often dramatic and puzzling behavior, and consider possible overarching physical theories that can explain the great variety, arguing that the unparalleled magnetic field strengths in these remarkable objects play a key role.
Victoria Kaspi (McGill University)
March 16, 2012
14:00 - 15:00