Constrains on parameters of magnetic field decay for accreting isolated neutron stars

Research paper by S. B. Popov, M. E. Prokhorov

Indexed on: 19 May '00Published on: 19 May '00Published in: Astrophysics


The influence of exponential magnetic field decay (MFD) on the spin evolution of isolated neutron stars is studied. The ROSAT observations of several X-ray sources, which can be accreting old isolated neutron stars, are used to constrain the exponential and power-law decay parameters. We show that for the exponential decay the ranges of minimum value of magnetic moment, $\mu_b$, and the characteristic decay time, $t_d$, $\sim 10^{29.5}\ge \mu_b \ge 10^{28} {\rm G} {\rm cm}^3$, $\sim 10^8\ge t_d \ge 10^7 {\rm yrs}$ are excluded assuming the standard initial magnetic moment, $\mu_0=10^{30} {\rm G} {\rm cm}^3$. For these parameters, neutron stars would never reach the stage of accretion from the interstellar medium even for a low space velocity of the stars and a high density of the ambient plasma. The range of excluded parameters increases for lower values of $\mu_0$. We also show, that, contrary to exponential MFD, no significant restrictions can be made for the parameters of power-law decay from the statistics of isolated neutron star candidates in ROSAT observations. Isolated neutron stars with constant magnetic fields and initial values of them less than $\mu_0 \sim 10^{29} {\rm G} {\rm cm}^3$ never come to the stage of accretion. We briefly discuss the fate of old magnetars with and without MFD, and describe parameters of old accreting magnetars.