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Periodic Fast Radio Bursts from Young Neutron Stars

Muñoz, Julian B. and Ravi, Vikram and Loeb, Abraham (2020) Periodic Fast Radio Bursts from Young Neutron Stars. Astrophysical Journal, 890 (2). Art. No. 162. ISSN 1538-4357. doi:10.3847/1538-4357/ab6d62.

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Fast radio bursts (FRBs) are highly energetic radio pulses from cosmological origins. Despite an abundance of detections, their nature remains elusive. At least a subset of FRBs is expected to repeat, as the volumetric FRB rate surpasses that of any known cataclysmic event, which has been confirmed by observations. One of the proposed mechanisms to generate repeating FRBs is supergiant pulses from young and highly spinning neutron stars (NSs), in which case FRBs could inherit the periodicity of their parent NS. Here we examine the consequences of such a population of periodic fast radio bursts (PFRBs). We calculate the rate and lifetime of PFRB progenitors, and find that each newly born highly spinning NS has to emit a number N_(PFRB) ∼ 10² of detectable bursts during its active lifetime of τ∼100 yr, after which it becomes too dim and crosses a PFRB "death line" analogous to the pulsar one. We propose several tests of this hypothesis. First, the period of PFRBs would increase over time, and their luminosity would decrease, due to the NS spin-down. Second, PFRBs may show modest amounts of rotation measure, given the lack of expelled matter from the pulsar, as opposed to the magnetar-sourced FRBs proposed to explain the first repeater FRB 121102. As an example, we study whether the second confirmed repeater (FRB 180814) is a PFRB, given the preference for an inter-pulse separation of 13 ms within its sub-bursts. We show that, if confirmed, this period would place FRB 180814 in a different category as FRB 121102. We develop tests that would identify—and characterize—the prospective population of PFRBs.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription Paper
Muñoz, Julian B.0000-0002-8984-0465
Ravi, Vikram0000-0002-7252-5485
Loeb, Abraham0000-0003-4330-287X
Additional Information:© 2020 The American Astronomical Society. Received 2019 September 18; revised 2019 November 11; accepted 2020 January 16; published 2020 February 25. We are thankful to Jim Cordes and Shami Chatterjee for discussions, to Jonathan Katz for comments on a previous version of this manuscript, to the referee for useful comments, and to the owners of the FRB 4 and magnetar 5 catalogs. J.B.M. is funded by a Department of Energy (DOE) grant de-sc0019018. This publication was made possible through the support of a grant from the John Templeton Foundation and through a grant from the Breakthrough Prize Foundation. The opinions expressed in this publication are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the John Templeton Foundation.
Group:Astronomy Department
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Department of Energy (DOE)DE-SC0019018
John Templeton FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Breakthrough Prize FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Harvard UniversityUNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords:Radio transient sources; Transient sources; Radio bursts; Neutron stars; Pulsars
Issue or Number:2
Classification Code:Unified Astronomy Thesaurus concepts: Radio transient sources (2008); Transient sources (1851); Radio bursts (1339); Neutron stars (1108); Pulsars (1306)
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20191007-142401688
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:Julian B. Muñoz et al 2020 ApJ 890 162
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:99122
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:07 Oct 2019 22:18
Last Modified:16 Nov 2021 17:43

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