Journal article

Avalanche dynamics of radio pulsar glitches

A Melatos, C Peralta, JSB Wyithe

ASTROPHYSICAL JOURNAL | IOP PUBLISHING LTD | Published : 2008

Abstract

We test statistically the hypothesis that radio pulsar glitches result from an avalanche process, in which angular momentum is transferred erratically from the flywheel-like superfluid in the star to the slowly decelerating, solid crust via spatially connected chains of local, impulsive, threshold-activated events, so that the system fluctuates around a self-organized critical state. Analysis of the glitch population (currently 285 events from 101 pulsars) demonstrates that the size distribution in individual pulsars is consistent with being scale invariant, as expected for an avalanche process. The measured power-law exponents fall in the range -0.13 ≤ a ≤ 2.4, with a ≈ 1.2 for the youngest..

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