Astrophysics and Space Science

, Volume 38, Issue 2, pp 437–445 | Cite as

On pair production in intense electromagnetic fields occurring in astrophysical situations

  • J. K. Daugherty
  • I. Lerche


We show that the pair production rate in a strong magnetic field is substantially altered when an electric field is also included. We illustrate and emphasize this significant alteration by considering a few special cases. In the vicinity of the polar cap of a rotating magnetized neutron star it is currently though thatboth steady electric and magnetic fields must be present. The results presented here then indicate that some considerable degree of caution must be exercised in applying pair production rates calculated under the assumption of zero electric field to the problems of pulsar emission and the generation and maintence of pulsar magnetospheres. In general such rates are very different from the rate computed allowing for the existence of an electric field.


Magnetic Field Production Rate Electromagnetic Field Neutron Star Pair Production 
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Copyright information

© D. Reidel Publishing Company 1975

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. K. Daugherty
    • 1
  • I. Lerche
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Institut für Extraterrestriche PhysikMax Planck Institut für Physik und AstrophysikGarching b. MünchenWest Germany
  2. 2.Center for Space Research, Department of PhysicsMassachusetts Institute of TechnologyCambridge

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