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Physics  2000 

Pulsar wind nebulae in supernova remnants

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A spherically symmetric model is presented for the interaction of a pulsar wind with the associated supernova remnant. This results in a pulsar wind nebula whose evolution is coupled to the evolution of the surrounding supernova remnant. This evolution can be divided in three stages. The first stage is characterised by a supersonic expansion of the pulsar wind nebula into the freely expanding ejecta of the progenitor star. In the next stage the pulsar wind nebula is not steady; the pulsar wind nebula oscillates between contraction and expansion due to interaction with the reverse shock of the supernova remnant: reverberations which propagate forward and backward in the remnant. After the reverberations of the reverse shock have almost completely vanished and the supernova remnant has relaxed to a Sedov solution, the expansion of the pulsar wind nebula proceeds subsonically. In this paper we present results from hydrodynamical simulations of a pulsar wind nebula through all these stages in its evolution. The simulations were carried out with the Versatile Advection Code.


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