Curvature and synchro-curvature radiations in pulsar magnetospheres from a QED point of view
(LUTh, Observatoire de Paris-Meudon)
Seminar room (LLR)
In this talk I will try to give an overview of the work that has been done so far on the so-called curvature radiation since its introduction in 1975 by Ruderman and Sutherland in the context of pulsar magnetospheres.
In particular, I will point out some possible inconsistencies that arise from the underlying idea of a particle strictly following a curved magnetic field line, and therefore radiating. Indeed, one might consider the classical Lorentz force that guides the particle along the line in the one hand and the quantification of energy levels in the quantum mechanical description on the other hand to see that they may a priori exclude each other.
Further, I will show that these inconsistencies can be overcome by a fully quantum mechanical treatment of the behaviour of an electron in a very strong, curved, pulsar-like magnetic field. This yields the already known classical and semi-classical results on curvature radiation although in a fully consistent way. Moreover, it allows to incorporporate effects so far unaccounted for, in particular quantification and spin effects. We shall try to see in what circumstances these effects might become important.