Dynamical formation of millisecond pulsars in globular clusters

C. Y. Hui, K. S. Cheng, Ronald E. Taam

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

48 Scopus citations


The cumulative luminosity distribution functions (CLFs) of radio millisecond pulsars (MSPs) in globular clusters (GCs) and in the Galactic field at a frequency of 1.4GHz have been examined. Assuming a functional form, N ∝ Lq where N is the number of MSPs and L is the luminosity at 1.4GHz, it is found that the CLFs significantly differ with a steeper slope, q = -0.83 0.05, in GCs than in the Galactic field (q = -0.48 0.04), suggesting a different formation or evolutionary history of MSPs in these two regions of the Galaxy. To probe the production mechanism of MSPs in clusters, a search of the possible relationships between the MSP population and cluster properties was carried out. The results of an investigation of nine GCs indicate positive correlations between the MSP population and the stellar encounter rate and metallicity. This provides additional evidence suggesting that stellar dynamical interactions are important in the formation of the MSP population in GCs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1149-1154
Number of pages6
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2010


  • Globular clusters: general
  • Pulsars: general

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science

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