Astrophysics and Space Science

, Volume 91, Issue 1, pp 167–214 | Cite as

Spectra of radiation from a strongly magnetized plasma

  • A. D. Kaminker
  • G. G. Pavlov
  • Yu. A. Shibanov


Radiation from an optically thick, tenuous, isothermal and magnetized plasma is considered under conditions typical for X-ray pulsars, in the approximation of coupled diffusion of normal modes. The spectra are calculated of the fluxes and specific intensities of outgoing radiation, their dependences on the plasma densityN, temperatureT and magnetic fieldB are analysed with due regard to the vacuum polarization by a strong magnetic field. Simple analytical expressions are obtained in the limiting cases for the fluxes and intensities. It is shown that atE B »E a (E B =11.6B12 keV,E a ≃0.1N 22 1/2 T 1 −3/4 keV,B12=B/1012 G,N22=N/1022 cm−3,T1=T/10 keV) the magnetic field strongly intensifies the flux and changes its spectrum in the regionE a EE B . AtET the spectrum of the energy flux is almost flat in the region\(\sqrt {E_a E_B } \lesssim E \lesssim E_B \). For homogeneous plasma without Comptonization the cyclotron line atE≃=E B appears in emission, though in many other cases it may appear in absorption. The vacuum polarization may produce the ‘vacuum feature’ atEE W ≃13N 22 1/2 B 12 −1 keV, which, as a rule, appears in absorption. The intensity spectra vary noticeably with the direction of radiation, in particular, at some directions nearB, the spectra become harder than in other directions. Quantization of the magnetic field (E B >T) strongly increases the plasma luminosity (∝E B /T for homogeneous plasma). The results obtained explain a number of basic features in the observed X-ray pulsar spectra.


Radiation Magnetic Field Basic Feature Normal Mode Energy Flux 
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Copyright information

© D. Reidel Publishing Co. 1983

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. D. Kaminker
    • 1
  • G. G. Pavlov
    • 1
  • Yu. A. Shibanov
    • 1
  1. 1.A. F. Ioffe Institute of Physics and TechnologyAcademy of Sciences of the USSRLeningradUSSR

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