The high energy X-ray probe (HEX-P): magnetars and other isolated neutron stars

J. A. J. Alford, G. A. Younes, Z. Wadiasingh, M. Abdelmaguid, H. An, M. Bachetti, M. G. Baring, A. Beloborodov, A. Y. Chen, T. Enoto, J. A. García, J. D. Gelfand, E. V. Gotthelf, A. K. Harding, C-P. Hu, A. D. Jaodand, V. Kaspi, C. Kim, C. Kouveliotou, L. KuiperK. Mori, M. Nynka, J. Park, D. Stern, J. Valverde, D. J. Walton

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The hard X-ray emission from magnetars and other isolated neutron stars remains under-explored. An instrument with higher sensitivity to hard X-rays is critical to understanding the physics of neutron star magnetospheres and also the relationship between magnetars and Fast Radio Bursts (FRBs). High sensitivity to hard X-rays is required to determine the number of magnetars with hard X-ray tails, and to track transient non-thermal emission from these sources for years post-outburst. This sensitivity would also enable previously impossible studies of the faint non-thermal emission from middle-aged rotation-powered pulsars (RPPs), and detailed phase-resolved spectroscopic studies of younger, bright RPPs. The High Energy X-ray Probe (HEX-P) is a probe-class mission concept that will combine high spatial resolution X-ray imaging ((Formula presented.) arcsec half-power diameter (HPD) at 0.2–25 keV) and broad spectral coverage (0.2–80 keV) with a sensitivity superior to current facilities (including XMM-Newton and NuSTAR). HEX-P has the required timing resolution to perform follow-up observations of sources identified by other facilities and positively identify candidate pulsating neutron stars. Here we discuss how HEX-P is ideally suited to address important questions about the physics of magnetars and other isolated neutron stars.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1294449
Pages (from-to)1-14
Number of pages14
JournalFrontiers in Astronomy and Space Sciences
Early online date9 Jan 2024
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 9 Jan 2024


  • pulsars
  • X-ray sources
  • magnetars
  • neutron stars
  • spectra Frontiers
  • HEX-P


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