Ultrarelativistic Component of Astrophysical Plasmas

  • Gregory D. Fleishman
  • Igor N. Toptygin
Part of the Astrophysics and Space Science Library book series (ASSL, volume 388)


We have already noted in many places throughout the book that the very dynamics of astrophysical plasma often results in production of an ultrarelativistic plasma component on top of nonrelativistic background plasma or drives the entire plasma to an ultrarelativistic state. A vivid example of the first option is the galactic and extragalactic (ultra-high-energy) cosmic rays (CRs), while the latter one includes ultrarelativistic pulsar winds or jets and shock waves in active galactic nuclei (AGN) and GRBs. Physics of such ultrarelativistic plasmas represents an extremely broad, highly dynamic, and rapidly developing field of the modern astrophysics, which is hardly possible to comprehensively describe within a textbook format. Nevertheless, below we attempt to present some basic ideas and selected results having in mind to (1) introduce current concepts related to the ultrarelativistic plasma components and (2) demonstrate that the general theoretical framework developed within the cosmic electrodynamics is fully applicable here as well as to traditional nonrelativistic cases.


Neutron Star Accelerate Particle Strong Turbulence Crab Nebula Crab Pulsar 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gregory D. Fleishman
    • 1
  • Igor N. Toptygin
    • 2
  1. 1.Center for Solar-Terrestrial Research New Jersey Institute of TechnologyNewarkUSA
  2. 2.Department of Theoretical PhysicsSt. Petersburg State Polytechnical UniversitySt. PetersburgRussia

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