Coherent emission from magnetars Academic Article uri icon


  • In this Letter we consider the possibility of coherent optical and infrared emission in certain astrophysical situations, such as magnetars. The basis for such a hypothesis is quite simple: Magnetars, it has been proposed (Duncan & Thompson 1992; Thompson & Duncan 1995, 1996; Thompson, Lyutikov, & Kulkarni 2002), have twisted magnetic loops in their magnetospheres, and most of the time, the thermal scale height of their atmospheres is too low to populate the magnetosphere with thermal plasma. On the other hand, magnetospheric currents can easily be drawn out of the surface of the star from at least one of the footpoints. This current can be estimated. The rate of dissipation dB/dt of the magnetic field can also be estimated; it is presumably the value of dB/dt that yields a sufficient potential drop across the length of the loop to create enough plasma to short out any larger potential drop. The density of …

publication date

  • January 1, 2002