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Detection of pulsed Gamma Rays Above 100 GeV from the Crab Pulsar

  • We report the detection of pulsed gamma rays from the Crab pulsar at energies above 100 giga-electron volts (GeV) with the Very Energetic Radiation Imaging Telescope Array System (VERITAS) array of atmospheric Cherenkov telescopes. The detection cannot be explained on the basis of current pulsar models. The photon spectrum of pulsed emission between 100 mega-electron volts and 400 GeV is described by a broken power law that is statistically preferred over a power law with an exponential cutoff. It is unlikely that the observation can be explained by invoking curvature radiation as the origin of the observed gamma rays above 100 GeV. Our findings require that these gamma rays be produced more than 10 stellar radii from the neutron star.

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Author:E. Aliu, T. Arlen, T. Aune, M. Beilicke, W. Benbow, A. Bouvier, S. M. Bradbury, J. H. Buckley, V. Bugaev, K. Byrum, A. Cannon, A. Cesarini, J. L. Christiansen, L. Ciupik, E. Collins-Hughes, M. P. Connolly, W. Cui, R. Dickherber, C. Duke, M. Errando, A. Falcone, J. P. Finley, G. Finnegan, L. Fortson, A. Furniss, N. Galante, D. Gall, K. Gibbs, G. H. Gillanders, S. Godambe, S. Griffin, J. Grube, R. Guenette, G. Gyuk, D. Hanna, J. Holder, H. Huan, G. Hughes, C. M. Hui, T. B. Humensky, A. Imran, P. Kaaret, N. Karlsson, M. Kertzman, D. Kieda, H. Krawczynski, F. Krennrich, M. J. Lang, M. Lyutikov, A. S. Madhavan, G. Maier, P. Majumdar, S. McArthur, A. McCann, M. McCutcheon, P. Moriarty, R. Mukherjee, P. Nunez, R. A. Ong, M. Orr, A. N. Otte, N. Park, J. S. Perkins, F. Pizlo, Martin PohlORCiDGND, H. Prokoph, J. Quinn, K. Ragan, L. C. Reyes, P. T. Reynolds, E. Roache, H. J. Rose, J. Ruppel, D. B. Saxon, M. Schroedter, G. H. Sembroski, G. D. Sentuerk, A. W. Smith, D. Staszak, G. Tesic, M. Theiling, S. Thibadeau, K. Tsurusaki, J. Tyler, A. Varlotta, V. V. Vassiliev, S. Vincent, M. Vivier, S. P. Wakely, J. E. Ward, T. C. Weekes, A. Weinstein, T. Weisgarber, D. A. Williams, B. Zitzer
ISSN:0036-8075 (print)
Parent Title (English):Science
Publisher:American Assoc. for the Advancement of Science
Place of publication:Washington
Document Type:Article
Year of first Publication:2011
Year of Completion:2011
Creating Corporation:VERITAS Collaboration
Release Date:2017/03/26
First Page:69
Last Page:72
Funder:U.S. Department of Energy; NSF; Smithsonian Institution; Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada; Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) [10/RFP/AST2748]; Science and Technology Facilities Council in the United Kingdom; Alexander von Humboldt Foundation
Organizational units:Mathematisch-Naturwissenschaftliche Fakultät / Institut für Physik und Astronomie
Peer Review:Referiert