High-time Resolution Astrophysics and Pulsars
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Andy Shearer...(2008)High-time Resolution Astrophysics and Pulsars, High Time Resolution Astrophysics, Astrophysics and Space Science Library, Vol. 351. Edited by D. Phelan, O. Ryan, and A. Shearer. Berlin: Springer, 2008
The discovery of pulsars in 1968 heralded an era where the temporal characteristics of detectors had to be reassessed. Up to this point detector integration times would normally be measured in minutes rather seconds and definitely not on sub-second time scales. At the start of the 21st century pulsar observations are still pushing the limits of detector telescope capabilities. Flux variations on times scales less than 1 nsec have been observed during giant radio pulses. Pulsar studies over the next 10 to 20 years will require instruments with time resolutions down to microseconds and below, high-quantum quantum efficiency, reasonable energy resolution and sensitive to circular and linear polarisation of stochastic signals. This chapter is review of temporally resolved optical observations of pulsars. It concludes with estimates of the observability of pulsars with both existing telescopes and into the ELT era.