- Pulsars as tools for fundamental physics & astrophysics
- New Astronomy Reviews
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Science (FNWI)
- Anton Pannekoek Institute for Astronomy (API)
The sheer number of pulsars discovered by the SKA, in combination with the exceptional timing precision it can provide, will revolutionize the field of pulsar astrophysics. The SKA will provide a complete census of pulsars in both the Galaxy and in Galactic globular clusters that can be used to provide a detailed map of the electron density and magnetic fields, the dynamics of the systems, and their evolutionary histories. This complete census will provide examples of nearly every possible outcome of the evolution of massive stars, including the discovery of very exotic systems such as pulsar black-hole systems and sub-millisecond pulsars, if they exist. These exotic systems will allow unique tests of the strong field limit of relativistic gravity and the equation of state at extreme densities. Masses of pulsars and their binary companions planets, white dwarfs, other neutron stars, and black holes will be determined to ~1% for hundreds of objects. With the SKA we can discover and time highly-stable millisecond pulsars that comprise a pulsar-timing array for the detection of low-frequency gravitational waves. The SKA will also provide partial censuses of nearby galaxies through periodicity and single-pulse detections, yielding important information on the intergalactic medium.
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