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Oblique rotators in binary systems


RADIO pulsar PSR1913+16, which has a period of about 59 ms, has been identified as a member of a binary system1. The X-ray ‘oscillars’ HerX-1 and CenX-3, which are also members of binary systems, are not radio pulsars. (I use the word ‘oscillars’ to distinguish these objects from pulsars, which maintain their periodicity much more accurately). These facts, together with the 34-d periodicity2,3 of HerX-1 and the lack of this periodicity in CenX-3, can be explained by using the rotating neutron star hypothesis for the compact object in all of these systems. As is common in pulsar theories, I assume that rotating neutron stars are oblique rotators, that they have magnetic fields and that the magnetic axes are not along the axes of rotation.

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APPARAO, K. Oblique rotators in binary systems. Nature 253, 27–28 (1975).

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