Direct formation of millisecond pulsars from rotationally delayed accretion-induced collapse of massive white dwarfs

Mar 24, 2014, 2:30 PM


Dr Paulo Freire (MPI Bonn)


Millisecond pulsars (MSPs) are believed to be old neutron stars, formed via type~Ib/c core-collapse supernovae, which have subsequently been spun up to high rotation rates via accretion from a companion star in a highly circularised low-mass X-ray binary. The recent discoveries of Galactic field binary MSPs in eccentric orbits, and mass functions compatible with that expected for helium white dwarf companions, PSR J2234+06 and PSR J1946+3417, therefore challenge this picture. Here we present a hypothesis for producing this new class of systems, where the MSPs are formed directly from a rotationally-delayed accretion-induced collapse of a super-Chandrasekhar mass white dwarf. We compute the orbital properties of the MSPs formed in such events and demonstrate that our hypothesis can reproduce the observed eccentricities, masses and orbital periods of the white dwarfs, as well as forecasting the pulsar masses and velocities. Finally, we compare this hypothesis to a triple star scenario.

Primary author

Dr Paulo Freire (MPI Bonn)

Presentation materials