Neutrinos from binary pulsars [5] Academic Article uri icon


  • PULSARS are believed to produce high energy particles. If high energy protons produced by the pulsar strike a target, say a binary companion, high energy neutrinos are produced in the collisions. At the same time, schemes for detecting high energy neutrinos produced in nature are currently being considered (refs 1–4 and K. Lande, personal communication). Here we point out that binary systems containing moderately young pulsars (ages T < 104 yr, that is comparable to NP0532) may emit high energy neutrinos (1012 < Eγ < 1014 eV) at detectable levels. Such pulsars are assumed to have total luminosities of the order 1038 erg s−1. Discussion of feasible neutrino telescopes (such as/the deep underwater muon and neutrino detector, DUMAND1–4) suggests that fluxes from point sources as small as 102−1 eV cm−2 s−1 in high energy neutrinos may eventually be detectable. Neutrino detectors on a more modest scale, such as that of Lande (personal communication) will be operating within 1–3 yr, and have detection thresholds of 105 eV cm−2 s−1. Thus, a pulsar emitting 3 × l038 erg s−1 in high energy neutrinos at 3 kpc would be detectable even with Lande's detector, and the DUMAND detector may be able to detect sources that are weaker by three to five orders of magnitude.

publication date

  • January 1, 1978

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