White dwarf pulsars as possible cosmic ray electron-positron factories

Kazumi Kashiyama, Kunihito Ioka, Norita Kawanaka

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64 Citations (Scopus)


We suggest that white dwarf (WD) pulsars can compete with neutron star (NS) pulsars for producing the excesses of cosmic ray electrons and positrons (e⊃±) observed by the PAMELA, ATIC/PPB-BETS, Fermi, and H.E.S.S. experiments. A merger of two WDs leads to a rapidly spinning WD with a rotational energy (∼1050erg) comparable to the NS case. The birth rate (∼10⊃-2-10⊃-3/yr/galaxy) is also similar, providing the right energy budget for the cosmic ray e⊃±. Applying the NS theory, we suggest that the WD pulsars can in principle produce e⊃± up to ∼10TeV. In contrast to the NS model, the adiabatic and radiative energy losses of e⊃± are negligible since their injection continues after the expansion of the pulsar wind nebula, and hence it is enough that a fraction ∼1% of WDs are magnetized (∼107-109G) as observed. The long activity also increases the number of nearby sources (∼100), which reduces the Poisson fluctuation in the flux. The WD pulsars could dominate the quickly cooling e⊃± above TeV energy as a second spectral bump or even surpass the NS pulsars in the observing energy range ∼10GeV-1TeV, providing a background for the dark matter signals and a nice target for the future AMS-02, CALET, and CTA experiment.

Original languageEnglish
Article number023002
JournalPhysical Review D - Particles, Fields, Gravitation and Cosmology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2011 Jan 7
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nuclear and High Energy Physics
  • Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)


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