Meterwavelength Single-pulse Polarimetric Emission Survey. III. The phenomenon of nulling in pulsars.
BASU R., MITRA D. and MELIKIDZE G.I.
Abstract (from CDS):
A detailed analysis of nulling was conducted for the pulsars studied in the Meterwavelength Single-pulse Polarimetric Emission Survey. We characterized nulling in 36 pulsars including 17 pulsars where the phenomenon was reported for the first time. The most dominant nulls lasted for a short duration, less than five periods. Longer duration nulls extending to hundreds of periods were also seen in some cases. A careful analysis showed the presence of periodicities in the transition from the null to the burst states in 11 pulsars. In our earlier work, fluctuation spectrum analysis showed multiple periodicities in 6 of these 11 pulsars. We demonstrate that the longer periodicity in each case was associated with nulling. The shorter periodicities usually originate from subpulse drifting. The nulling periodicities were more aligned with the periodic amplitude modulation, indicating a possible common origin for both. The most prevalent nulls last for a single period and can be potentially explained using random variations affecting the plasma processes in the pulsar magnetosphere. On the other hand, longer-duration nulls require changes in the pair-production processes, which need an external triggering mechanism for the changes. The presence of periodic nulling puts an added constraint on the triggering mechanism, which also needs to be periodic.