The Shape of Pulsar Polar Caps

P.N. Arendt1 & J.A. Eilek1

Rotation distorts the magnetic field of a pulsar from that of a simple dipole. The effect is particularly strong close to the light cylinder. We find the shape of the field lines which just close at the light cylinder. Their footpoints define the pulsar polar cap; we find it is asymmetric and distorted, but -- contrary to previous authors -- not strongly elliptical. We present our numerical results, and briefly discuss consequences for interpretation of mean profiles.

STATUS: submitted to Ap. J. . . . . . . .ps text file