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Title: Bright gamma-ray flares powered by magnetic reconnection in QED-strength magnetic fields
Authors: Schoeffler, K. M.
Grismayer, T.
Uzdensky, D.
Fonseca, R. A.
Silva, L. O.
Keywords: Gamma-ray burst: general
Magnetic fields
Magnetic reconnection
Radiation mechanisms: General
Relativistic processes
Stars: Magnetars
Issue Date: 2019
Publisher: IOP Publishing Ltd
Abstract: Strong magnetic fields in the magnetospheres of neutron stars (NSs) (especially magnetars) and other astrophysical objects may release their energy in violent, intense episodes of magnetic reconnection. While reconnection has been studied extensively, the extreme field strength near NSs introduces new effects: radiation cooling and electron–positron pair production. Using massively parallel particle-in-cell simulations that self-consistently incorporate these new radiation and quantum-electrodynamic effects, we investigate relativistic magnetic reconnection in the strong-field regime. We show that reconnection in this regime can efficiently convert magnetic energy to X-ray and gamma-ray radiation and thus power bright, high-energy astrophysical flares. Rapid radiative cooling causes strong plasma and magnetic field compression in compact plasmoids. In the most extreme cases, the field can approach the quantum limit, leading to copious pair production.
Peer reviewed: yes
DOI: 10.3847/1538-4357/aaf1b9
ISSN: 0004-637X
Accession number: WOS:000455357700002
Appears in Collections:CTI-RI - Artigos em revistas científicas internacionais com arbitragem científica

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