Fr.: dérivée de la période
The rate at which the rotation period of a → pulsar changes over time. This quantity, dP/dT, can range from as small as 0.05 picoseconds per year (1.5 x 10-21 seconds per second) to as large as about 10 milliseconds per year (4.2 x 10-10 seconds per second). For the → Crab pulsar, the period derivative is 4.2 x 10-13 s s-1, implying a decrease in the star's → rotation energy of about 4.5 x 1038 erg s-1. Period derivative is a very important parameter for the determination of the pulsar age.