Project: FROMTON - Particle acceleration in pulsars: FROm the Magnetosphere TO the Nebula

Prace Call: 17th
ID: 2018184427, Leader: Benoit Cerutti
Affiliation: CNRS & Univ. Grenoble Alpes, FR
Research Field: Universe Sciences
Collaborators: Guillaume Dubus CNRS & Univ. Grenoble Alpes FR , Alexander Philippov University of California Berkeley USA
Resource Awarded: 26.7 Mil. core hours on Joliot Curie - SKL


Pulsars create and launch an ultra-relativistic, ultra-magnetized wind of electron-positron pairs that terminates into a mildly relativistic, weakly magnetized nebula observed as a bright source of pure non-thermal radiation. Observations coupled with classical magneto-hydrodynamic models of pulsar wind nebulae suggest that significant magnetic dissipation must be occurring somewhere between the neutron star and the nebula. This issue is generic to other relativistic magnetic outflows found in astrophysical objects such as active galactic nuclei, microquasars and gamma-ray bursts. The current sheet forming in the equatorial regions of the pulsar wind is a promising site for magnetic dissipation via relativistic reconnection. The objective of this proposal is to simulate the dynamics of the pulsar wind self-consistently, from the magnetosphere where the wind is created up to unprecedentedly large distances from the star, using full 3D particle-in-cell simulations. Three regimes will be investigated: (i) a freely propagating pulsar wind relevant to isolated pulsars (ii) a truncated wind in the context of tight binary systems, and (iii) a pulsar wind and pulsar wind nebula under a strong inverse Compton cooling relevant to both isolated and binary systems. The numerical requirement for this campaign of simulations is estimated to about 26.73 millions core-hours on TGCC Joliot Curie SKL for one year.