Statistical properties of giant pulses from the Crab pulsar

M. V. Popov, B. Stappers

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Aims. We have studied the statistics of giant pulses from the Crab pulsar for the first time with particular reference to their widths. Methods. We have analyzed data collected during 3.5 h of observations conducted with the Westerbork Synthesis Radio Telescope operated in a tied-array mode at a frequency of 1200 MHz. The PuMa pulsar backend provided voltage recording of X and Y linear polarization states in two conjugate 10 MHz bands. We restricted the time resolution to 4 μs to match the scattering on the interstellar inhomogeneities. Results. In total about 18000 giant pulses (GP) were detected in full intensity with a threshold level of 6σ. We analyzed cumulative probability distribution (CPD) of giant pulse energies for groups of GPs with different effective widths in the range 4 to 65 μs. The CPDs were found to manifest notable differences for the different GP width groups. The slope of a power-law fit to the high-energy portion of the CPD evolves from -1.7 to -3.2 when going from the shortest to the longest GPs. There are breaks in the CPD power-law fits indicating flattening at low energies with indices varying from -1.0 to -1.9 for the short and long GPs, respectively. The GPs with a stronger peak flux density were found to be of shorter duration. We compare our results with previously published data and discuss the importance of these peculiarities in the statistical properties of GPs for the theoretical understanding of the emission mechanism responsible for GP generation. © ESO 2007.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1003-1007
    Number of pages4
    JournalAstronomy and Astrophysics
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - Aug 2007


    • Methods: statistical
    • Radiation mechanisms: non-thermal
    • Stars: pulsars: general
    • Stars: pulsars: individual: B0531+21


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