The Search for Millisecond Pulsars – Implications from Fermi Observations and Future Prospects
2017 December 12
Millisecond pulsars (MSPs) are old pulsars which have been spun up to incredible rotation rates by the accretion of matter from an orbiting companion star. Their extreme properties and long-term stability make them valuable objects for a wide variety of fundamental astrophysics. In recent years, the rate of new MSP discoveries has increased dramatically, owing in large part to the "treasure trove" of pulsar-like sources detected within the LAT data. In fact, more than a quarter of all Galactic-field MSPs were discovered in searches targeting unidentified Fermi-LAT sources. In these proceedings I describe the various contributions that Fermi has made to the MSP search effort, including the latest results from blind searches for gamma-ray pulsations from unknown pulsars. I also discuss the prospects for future discoveries in these areas, and the implications of Fermi’s observations for the Galactic MSP population.