Neutron stars with extremely high magnetic fields are called magnetars. They are detected at high energies as so-called soft gamma-ray repeaters (SGRs) or anomalous X-ray pulsars (AXPs). Occasionally, magnetars undergo very strong bursts which are powered by energy stored in their large magnetic fields. As a consequence of their high magnetic fields, magnetars lose rotational energy on a short timescale (~ few 1000 yr) and hence these objects become slow spinning neutron stars shortly after their formation in a supernova explosion, in contrast to ordinary radio pulsars which are observable on much longer timescales (~ 50 Myr). The aim of this project is to understand the possible link between magnetars and other members of the neutron star population. We perform an up-to-date literature search on the topic and construct simple model calculations of the spin evolution of magnetars. 

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Thomas Tauris