A number of examples are shown in Fig. 20 . These are taken from the Jodrell Bank timing program . Such ``timing noise'' is most prominent in the youngest of the normal pulsars [162, 59] and virtually absent in the much older millisecond pulsars . While the physical processes of this phenomena are not well understood, it seems likely that it may be connected to superfluid processes and temperature changes in the interior of the neutron star , or processes in the magnetosphere [55, 54].
The relative dearth of timing noise for the older pulsars is a very important finding. It implies that, presently, the measurement precision depends primarily on the particular hardware constraints of the observing system. Consequently, a large effort in hardware development is presently being made to improve the precision of these observations using, in particular, coherent dedispersion outlined in § 4.1 . Much of the pioneering work in this area has been made by Joseph Taylor and collaborators at Princeton University . From high quality observations made using the Arecibo radio telescope spanning almost a decade [206, 207, 117], the group has demonstrated that the timing stability of millisecond pulsars over such time-scales is comparable to terrestrial atomic clocks.
This phenomenal stability is demonstrated in Fig. 21 . This figure shows , a parameter closely resembling the Allan variance used by the clock community to estimate the stability of atomic clocks [233, 1]. Atomic clocks are known to have on time-scales of order 5 years. The timing stability of PSR B1937+21 seems to be limited by a power law component which produces a minimum in its after yr. This is most likely a result of a small amount of intrinsic timing noise . No such noise component is observed for PSR B1855+09. This demonstrates that the timing stability for PSR B1855+09 becomes competitive with the atomic clocks after about 3 yr. The absence of timing noise for B1855+09 is probably related to its characteristic age Gyr which is about a factor of 20 larger than B1937+21. Timing observations of millisecond pulsars are discussed further in the context of the pulsar timing array in § 5.2 .
|Binary and Millisecond Pulsars at the New Millennium
Duncan R. Lorimer
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