Data on the mean pulse profiles of pulsars and their polarization have been used to study the two-dimensional form of the radio beams emitted by pulsars. The results support the differing properties of core and conal emission proposed by Rankin (1983, 1986) and indicate that the spectral index difference between the core and conal regions is greatest for short-period pulsars. The present results are consistent with circular beams. Computations show that the distribution of inclination angle is uniform for young pulsars and that old pulsars have preferentially aligned fields. The time scale for alignment is found to be about 10 to the 7th yr, similar to that for field decay.
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