QED plasma and magnetars

Marat Freytsis, Samuel E. Gralla

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Magnetars are surrounded by diffuse plasma in magnetic field strengths well above the quantum electrodynamic critical value. We derive equations of ''quantum force-free electrodynamics'' for this plasma using effective field theory arguments. We argue that quantum effects do not modify the large scale structure of the magnetosphere, and in particular that the spin-down rate does not deviate significantly from the classical result. We provide definite evolution equations that can be used to explore potentially important small-scale corrections, such as shock formation, which has been proposed as a mechanism for both burst and quiescent emission from magnetars.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number042
JournalJournal of Cosmology and Astroparticle Physics
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 19 2016
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics


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