January 27, 2000 CfA Colloquium

Title: Pulsars in Globular Clusters

Speaker: Fred Rasio

Abstract: More than 40 radio pulsars have now been observed in globular clusters, the number in 47 Tucanae alone having recently increased to 20. Globular clusters contain some of the most interesting and unusual recycled and binary pulsars known, including many single millisecond pulsars, eclipsing binaries with periods as short as an hour and companions as small as brown dwarfs, one double neutron star system, and one triple system containing a neutron star, a white dwarf, and a giant planet! Most of these systems are located inside or near the inner cores of the densest clusters, where strong dynamical interactions betrween stars and binaries are taking place at high rates. The most frequent interactions involving neutron stars are probably exchange interactions with primordial binaries, and direct physical collisions with main-sequence stars. In this talk I will present an overview of the properties of radio pulsars in globular clusters based on the most recent observations, and I will discuss their theoretical implications for our understanding of the formation and evolution of recycled pulsars in general, as well as dynamical processes in dense stellar systems and the overall dynamical evolution of globular clusters.

Reference for students: No lunch this week.