Population synthesis of radio and gamma-ray normal, isolated pulsars using Markov Chain Monte Carlo

Mar 24, 2014, 5:00 PM


Prof. Peter Gonthier (Hope College)


We present preliminary results of a population statistics study of normal pulsars (NP) from the Galactic disk using Markov Chain Monte Carlo techniques. The model parameters are varied to maximize the log of the likelihood obtained from the comparisons of two and one dimensional distributions of radio and gamma-ray pulsar characteristics. The computer code simulates neutron stars at birth using Monte Carlo procedures and evolves them to the present assuming initial spatial, kick velocity, magnetic field, and period distributions. Pulsars are spun down to the present and given radio and gamma-ray emission characteristics with empirical radio and gamma-ray luminosity models. We explore a magnetic inclination angle alignment model as well as a magnetic-field decay model. A comparison group of radio NPs detected in ten-radio surveys normalizes the simulation by adjusting the model radio luminosity to match the supernova rate. We include pulsars in the Fermi second pulsar catalog. We present results comparing the simulated and detected distributions of radio and gamma-ray NPs along with a confidence region in the parameter space of the assumed models. We express our gratitude for the generous support of the Michigan Space Grant Consortium, National Science Foundation (RUI), and the NASA Astrophysics Theory and Fundamental Program.

Primary author

Prof. Peter Gonthier (Hope College)


Dr Alice Harding (NASA Goddard Space Flight Center) Mr Andrew Johnson (Hope College) Mr Caleb Billman (Hope College)

Presentation materials