In strong magnetic fields of neutron stars and white dwarfs the electron-positron vacuum behaves as an anisotropic medium that has birefringent properties. Thus vacuum influences the generation and propagation of electromagnetic radiation and changes the spectrum, angular distribution and polarization of the radiation from objects having a strong magnetic field. The study of specific vacuum effects in the radiation from neutron stars and white dwarfs yields additional information on the emitting plasma (magnetic field, density, etc.), which is essential for constructing models of these objects.
Astrophysics and Space Physics Reviews
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