Bearing in mind the application to the outer crust of neutron stars (NSs), we investigate the magnetic field decay by means of the fully relativistic Particle-In-Cell simulations. Numerical computations are carried out in two dimensions, in which the initial magnetic fields are set to be composed both of the uniform magnetic fields that model the global fields penetrating the NS and of the turbulent magnetic fields that would originate from the Hall cascade of the large-scale turbulence. Our results show that the whistler cascade of the turbulence transports the magnetic energy preferentially in the direction perpendicular to the uniform magnetic fields. It is also found that the distribution function of electrons becomes anisotropic because electrons with lower energies are predominantly heated in the direction parallel to the uniform magnetic fields due to the Landau resonance, while electrons with higher energies are heated mainly by the cyclotron resonance that makes the distribution function isotropic for the high energy tails. Furthermore, we point out that the degree of anisotropy takes on the maximum value as a function of the initial turbulent magnetic energy. As an alternative to the conventional Ohmic dissipation, we propose that the magnetic fields in the outer crust of NSs, cascading down to the electron inertial scale via the whistler turbulence, would decay predominantly by the dissipation processes through the Landau damping and the cyclotron resonance.
The Astrophysical Journal
- Pub Date:
- February 2011
- stars: neutron;
- Astrophysics - High Energy Astrophysical Phenomena
- 8pages, 9 figures, accepted for publication in ApJ