Axion configurations around pulsars

B. Garbrecht, J. I. McDonald

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Axion-like particles lead to a plethora of new phenomena relating to compact astrophysical objects including stellar and black hole superradiance, axion stars and axion clusters. In this work, we investigate a new scenario in which macroscopic axion configurations are sourced by the electromagnetic fields of pulsars via the axion-photon coupling. We solve the inhomogeneous axion field equation with an explicit source term given by the electromagnetic fields of the pulsar in a rotating magnetic dipole approximation. We find that the axion profile either forms a localised boundstate or radiates as outgoing waves, depending on whether the pulsar frequency is smaller or greater than the axion mass, respectively. We derive the total mass of the scalar cloud generated around the pulsar, and the power loss for radiative solutions. We point out that it will be necessary to incorporate pulsar magnetosphere effects and their partial screening of the axion-photon interaction for a more accurate quantitative prediction. Finally, we suggest some observational signatures which should be investigated in future work.

Original languageEnglish
Article number044
JournalJournal of Cosmology and Astroparticle Physics
Issue number7
StatePublished - 20 Jul 2018


  • Axions
  • neutron stars
  • pulsar magnetosphere


Dive into the research topics of 'Axion configurations around pulsars'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this