Magnetic Fields at Largest Universal Strengths: Overview
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A brief review is given about the role strong magnetic fields play in the universe. We list the main observational and theoretical achievements treated in the following chapters including a number of open questions which future research is going to attack. Strong fields in the universe exceed any large scale fields by several orders of magnitude, at first glance suggesting that their generation mechanisms would be different. However, it is believed that gravitational collapse and magnetic flux conservation is responsible for the amplification of fields generated in the progenitors to the observed strengths. In this sense the extremely strong fields are mainly fossil, and their variety confirms the different masses and stages where the collapse comes to rest, at the lightest in white dwarfs and at the strongest in magnetars, which are a particular class of neutron stars with strongly inhomogeneous particularly structured crust. Various effects related to the detection of such fields, radiation generation and consequences for the environment are pointed out and referred to the relevant chapters in this volume.
KeywordsMagnetic stars: white dwarfs, magnetars, pulsar Neutron stars Accretion, outflow and jets
- R. Beck, A. Balogh, A. Bykov, R.A. Treumann, L.M. Widrow (eds.), Large-Scale Magnetic Fields in the Universe. ISSI Space Sci. Ser., vol. 39 (Springer, New York, 2012) Google Scholar