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Asymmetry of bifurcated features in radio pulsar profiles




High-quality integrated radio profiles of some pulsars contain bifurcated, highly symmetric emission components (BECs). They are observed when our line of sight traverses through a split-fan shaped emission beam. It is shown that for oblique cuts through such a beam, the features appear asymmetric at nearly all frequencies, except for a single ‘frequency of symmetry’νsym, at which both peaks in the BEC have the same height. Around νsym, the ratio of flux in the two peaks of a BEC evolves in a way resembling the multifrequency behaviour of J1012+5307. Because of the inherent asymmetry resulting from the oblique traverse of the sightline, each minimum in double notches can be modelled independently. Such a composed model reproduces the double notches of B1929+10 if the fitted function is the microscopic beam of curvature radiation in the orthogonal polarization mode. These results confirm our view that some of the double components in radio pulsar profiles directly reveal the microscopic nature of the emitted radiation beam as the microbeam of the curvature radiation polarized orthogonally to the trajectory of electrons.