Waves and instabilities in an electronpositron plasma in an ultrastrong magnetic field
Abstract
Magnetic fields of up to 10 x 13 Gauss were observed in pulsars. At these ultrastrong fields, the energy between Landau levels is comparable to the electron restmass, and the cyclotron radius is comparable to the Compton wavelength. To study the electromagnetic properties of an electron or positron gas in such ultrastrong fields, the polarization tensor Pi sub mu nu is calculated. This response function is simply related to other functions like the dielectric and diamagnetic tensors. A dispersion relation is found involving Pi sub mu nu, whose solution determines the frequencywavenumber relation for propagating electromagnetic waves in the system. A relativistic quantumkinetic (Wigner function) technique is used. The quantum analog to the Vlasov equation is derived and linearized about a zerotemperature Fermi equilibrium, an approximation scheme equivalent to the randomphaseapproximation (RPA). An integral equation is found for the fourcurrent, which then determines the polarization tensor. The resulting dispersion is evaluated for propagation parallel to the magnetic field. Wave propagation and damping are analyzed in terms of twobody processes. Cutoffs and discontinuities in phase velocities of waves are noted and discussed in terms of the different processes. Properties of these solutions are discussed, and comparisons are made with earlier investigations in the appropriate limits. A detailed review of the parameter regime and method is presented.
 Publication:

Ph.D. Thesis
 Pub Date:
 1987
 Bibcode:
 1987PhDT........14P
 Keywords:

 Compton Effect;
 Damping;
 Magnetic Fields;
 Plasmas (Physics);
 Tensors;
 Wave Propagation;
 Electrons;
 Positrons;
 Whistlers;
 Plasma Physics