Abstract: Observational data imply the presence of superluminal electric currents in pulsar magnetospheres. Such sources are not inconsistent with special relativity; they have already been created in the laboratory.
Here we describe the distinctive features of the radiation beam that is generated by a rotating superluminal source and show that (i) it consists of subbeams that are narrower the farther the observer is from the source: subbeams whose intensities decay as 1/R instead of 1/R^2 with distance (R),
(ii) the fields of its subbeams are characterized by three concurrent polarization modes: two modes that are ‘orthogonal’ and a third mode whose position angle swings across the subbeam bridging those of the other two,
(iii) its overall beam consists of an incoherent superposition of such coherent subbeams and has an intensity profile that reflects the azimuthal distribution of the contributing part of the source (the part of the source that approaches the observer with the speed of light and zero acceleration),
(iv) its spectrum (the superluminal counterpart of synchrotron spectrum) is broader than that of any other known emission and entails oscillations whose spacings and amplitudes respectively increase and decrease algebraically with increasing frequency,
(v) the degree of its mean polarization and the fraction of its linear polarization both increase with frequency beyond the frequency for which the observer falls within the Fresnel zone. We also compare these features with those of the radiation received from the Crab pulsar.
Go faster than light
A new mechanism for generating broadband pulsar-like polarization
Authors: Houshang Ardavan, Arzhang Ardavan, Joseph Fasel, John Middleditch, Mario Perez, Andrea Schmidt, John Singleton
(Submitted on 2 Mar 2009)