Transverse conductivity of a relativistic plasma in oblique electric and magnetic fields

Fulvio Melia, Marco Fatuzzo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Resistive tearing is a primary candidate for flares occurring in stressed magnetic fields. Its possible application to the strongly magnetized environments (Hz ∼ 1012 G) near the surface of neutron stars, particularly as a mechanism for generating the plasma heating and particle acceleration leading to gamma-ray bursts, has motivated a quantum treatment of this process, which requires knowledge of the electrical conductivity σ of a relativistic gas in a new domain, i.e., that of a low-density (ne) plasma in oblique electric [E = (0, Ey, Ez)] and magnetic fields. We discuss the mathematical formalism for calculating σ and present numerical results for the range of parameter values 109 ≤ Hz ≤ 1012 G, Ez/Hz ≲ 10-4, Ey ≲ 10-4Hz2/£2, and 1020 ≤ ne ≤ 1025 cm-3. Our results indicate that σ depends very strongly on both the applied electric and magnetic fields, and that σ ∼ Ez2 Ez/Hz2 over this range.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)198-207
Number of pages10
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - May 20 1991


  • Gamma rays: bursts
  • Magnetic fields
  • Particle acceleration
  • Pulsars
  • Quantum mechanics
  • Stars: neutron

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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