Reliability of magnetic inclination angle determinations for pulsars

M. Coleman Miller, Russell J. Hamilton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


We compare the recent estimates of the inclination angle α between the rotation and magnetic axes of 56 pulsars made by both Lyne & Manchester and Rankin. Their results agree reasonably well when α is ≲40°; however, there is no correlation between the two estimates of α if either estimate exceeds 40°. The correlation is better for pulsars with beams having more complicated core structure. Nevertheless, the differences between the two sets of estimates are large enough that use of these estimates to investigate pulsar physics is questionable. We discuss the method for determining α based on the Radhakrishnan & Cooke single-vector model, emphasizing its sensitivity to measurement errors. This method complements the approaches of Rankin and Lyne & Manchester and is preferable when accurate polarization data are available.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)298-301
Number of pages4
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 1 1993
Externally publishedYes


  • Pulsars: general
  • Stars: neutron

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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