Astronomy Letters

, Volume 33, Issue 10, pp 660–672 | Cite as

Electron-positron plasma generation in a magnetar magnetosphere

  • Ya. N. IstominEmail author
  • D. N. Sobyanin


We consider the electron—positron plasma generation processes in the magnetospheres of magnetars—neutron stars with strong surface magnetic fields, B ≃ 1014–1015 G. We show that the photon splitting in a magnetic field, which is effective at large field strengths, does not lead to the suppression of plasma multiplication, but manifests itself in a high polarization of γ-ray photons. A high magnetic field strength does not give rise to the second generation of particles produced by synchrotron photons. However, the density of the first-generation particles produced by curvature photons in the magnetospheres of magnetars can exceed the density of the same particles in the magnetospheres of ordinary radio pulsars. The plasma generation inefficiency can be attributed only to slow magnetar rotation, which causes the energy range of the produced particles to narrow. We have found a boundary in the \( P - \dot P \) diagram that defines the plasma generation threshold in a magnetar magnetosphere.

Key words

neutron stars pulsars 

PACS numbers

97.60.Jd 97.60.Gb 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    S. L. Adler, Ann. Phys. (N.Y.) 67, 599 (1971).CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    V. N. Baier, A. I. Milstein, and R. Zh. Shaisultanov, Phys. Rev. Lett. 77, 1691 (1996).CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    M. G. Baring and A. K. Harding, Astrophys. J. 482, 372 (1997).CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    M. G. Baring and A. K. Harding, Astrophys. J. 547, 929 (2001).CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    V. S. Beskin, Astrofizika 18, 439 (1982) [Astrophys. 18, 266 (1982)].ADSGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    V. S. Beskin, A. V. Gurevich, and Ya. N. Istomin, Physics of the Pulsar Magnetosphere (Cambridge Univ. Press, Cambridge, 1993).zbMATHGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    A. Bonanno, V. Urpin, and G. Belvedere, Astron. Astrophys. 451, 1049 (2006).CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    F. Camilo, S. M. Ransom, J. P. Halpern, et al., Nature 442, 892 (2006).CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    F. Camilo, J. Reynolds, S. Johnston, et al., Astrophys. J. 659, L37 (2007).CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    A. F. Cheng and M. A. Ruderman, Astrophys. J. 216, 865 (1977).CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    J. K. Daugherty and A. K. Harding, Astrophys. J. 252, 337 (1982).CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    R. C. Duncan and C. Thompson, Astrophys. J. 392, L9 (1992).CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    A. V. Gurevich and Ya. N. Istomin, Zh. Éksp. Teor. Fiz. 89, 3 (1985) [Sov. Phys. JETP 62, 1 (1985)].ADSGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    A. K. Harding, M. G. Baring, and P. L. Gonthier, Astrophys. J. 476, 246 (1997).CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    J. A. Hibschman and J. Arons, Astrophys. J. 560, 871 (2001).CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    A. I. Ibrahim, S. Safi-Harb, J. H. Swank, et al., Astrophys. J. 574, L51 (2002).CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Ya. N. Istomin, Progress in Neutron Star Research, Ed. by A. P. Wass (Nova Sci., 2005), p. 27.Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    N. P. Klepikov, Zh. Éksp. Teor. Fiz. 26, 19 (1954).Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    M. Kramer, B. W. Stappers, A. Jessner, et al., Mon. Not. R. Astron. Soc. 377, 107 (2007).CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    V. M. Malofeev., O. I. Malov, and D. A. Teplykh, in Proceedings of the IAU Symposium No. 218: Young Neutron Stars and Their Environments, Ed. by F. Camilo and B. M. Gaensler (Astron. Soc. Pac., San Francisco, 2004), p. 261.Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    V. M. Malofeev, O. I. Malov, D. A. Teplykh, et al., Astron. Zh. 82, 273 (2005) [Astron. Rep. 49, 242 (2005)].Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    R. N. Manchester, G. B. Hobbs, A. Teoh, et al., Astron. J. 129, 1993 (2005).CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    M. A. Ruderman and P. G. Sutherland, Astrophys. J. 196, 51 (1975).CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    L. Semionova and D. Leahy, Astron. Astrophys. 373, 272 (2001).CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    A. A. Sokolov and I. M. Ternov, Radiation from Relativistic Electrons (Moscow, Nauka, 1983; AIP, New York, 1986), p. 78.Google Scholar
  26. 26.
    W.-Y. Tsai and T. Erber, Phys. Rev. D 10, 492 (1974).CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    V. V. Usov, Astrophys. J. 572, L87 (2002).CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Pleiades Publishing, Inc. 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Moscow Institute of Physics and TechnologyDolgoprudnyi, Moscow oblastRussia
  2. 2.Lebedev Institute of PhysicsRussian Academy of SciencesMoscowRussia

Personalised recommendations