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Magnetars life cycle: birth, evolution and death

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Magnetars are the strongest magnets we know of, and show themselves via powerful X/gamma-ray steady and flaring emission. The energetics of such flares in our Galaxy second only the supernova explosions. In this talk I will first review the observational characteristics of these highly magnetic pulsars, and some recent discoveries in the field. Subsequently, I will present what we currently know about their life-cycle, through detailed simulations of neutron star magneto-thermal evolution and pulsar population synthesis. I will then finish with some considerations on how the study of the Galactic population of magnetars might constrain their possible connection with Gamma Ray Bursts.

This talk is part of the Institute of Astronomy Colloquia series.

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