The Observed Spin Distributions of Millisecond Radio and X-ray Pulsars


We consider the currently observed spin distributions of various types of neutron stars, including isolated and binary radio millisecond pulsars in the Galactic plane and globular cluster system as well as neutron stars in low-mass X-ray binary systems where the spin rate is known either through coherent pulsations or burst oscillations. We find that the spin distributions of isolated and binary radio millisecond pulsars are statistically different, at least for those residing in globular clusters, with the binary pulsars being on average faster spinning. This result is likely to hold despite observational biases still affecting the observed spin distribution. A possible explanation for this is that the isolated radio millisecond pulsars are on average older than those in binary systems.Comment: 5 pages, 1 figure; appears in the proceedings of the workshop "A Decade of Accreting Millisecond X-ray Pulsars", Amsterdam, April 2008, eds. R. Wijnands et al. (AIP Conf. Proc.

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