Fr.: indice de freinage
A parameter indicating the rate at which a → pulsar slows down. Neutron stars are powered by → rotational energy and lose energy by accelerating particle → winds and by emitting → electromagnetic radiation. The → rotation frequency, Ω, thus decreases with time and this slowdown is usually described by the relation Ω. = - kΩn, where k is a positive constant which depends on the → moment of inertia and the → magnetic dipole moment of the → neutron star and n is the braking index. Conventionally, the braking index is derived by differentiation of the above equation, yielding n = ΩΩ.. / Ω.2. In a highly simplified model in which the spin-down torque arises from dipole radiation at the rotation frequency, one expects n = 3 (Johnston, S., Galloway, D., 1999, arXiv:astro-ph/9905058).