SELF-CONSISTENT MAGNETOSPHERE FOR A STATIC ALIGNED ROTATOR
KRAUSE-POLSTORFF, JUERGEN WALTER
Doctor of Philosophy
Since the Goldreich and Julian model for a pulsar magnetosphere was introduced attempts to form a self-consistent theory based on their model have met with failure. This thesis contends that the Goldreich and Julian magnetosphere is not unique, that more plausible magnetospheres exist and that they are characterized by vacuum gaps separating the charge-separated plasmas in the pulsar magnetosphere. This work models a number of such magnetospheres using discrete charges that are generated from the pulsar surface charge. The models are physically differentiated by their net charge, with one model having the net charge of the Goldreich and Julian model and the others less than this in regularly spaced intervals. It is demonstrated that static solutions exist which possess corotational regions above the polar regions and both a corotational and superrotational region about the equator. The result is in accord with Pilipp's theorem concerning the impossibility of having only a corotational magnetosphere with vacuum gaps. The finite size of the space-charge configuration places the magnetosphere well within the light cylinder of all but one of the known radio pulsars (assuming that a pulsar has the standard radius). The confinement of the space-charge within the light cylinder raises questions about the present assumptions made for pulsars. The configurations are totally static as the surface has been made emission-free in the aligned case, and the results suggest that one must at least look at the non-aligned case to explain the pulsar emission process. Possibly some of the assumptions about radio pulsars and their environment must be revised.