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Physics of the Accretion Column of X-ray pulsars

International Team Meeting, ISSI Bern 2011-2012

(Fig.: D. Klochkov)[Quelle: unbekannt]


We propose a series of two team meetings with the aim to link different modeling and observational approaches for a self-consistent assessment of the physics of the accretion column of accreting X-ray pulsars. Although studies of accreting X-ray originally started out as a unified approach 25 years ago (Mészàros 1984, 1992), the complexity of the physical processes has meanwhile led to subdivisions focussing on (a) the continuum spectrum, (b) cyclotron resonance scattering features (‘cyclotron lines’, CRSFs), and (c) timing analysis. Each field for itself has much developed since, and the last years have seen breakthroughs like the first physical analytical continuum model and the first physical, simulation-based cyclotron line model in direct comparison to observational data. All modelling attempts suffer, however, from the fact that too many parameters are unconstrained because of a general lack of knowledge about the accretion column formation and geometry. Information loss also occurs due to the non-compatibility of different models even in the same fields. This situation can only be overcome by focussing again on a consistent, unified approach. The aim of the meetings is therefore to agree on a general strategy on what can be learned from each other and also to explicitely start merging different existing analytical and numerical models into a self-consistent model for the X-ray radiation from the accretion column for comparisons to observational data.