Pulsar Schwinger Pairs

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Summary Table
Category Progenitor Type Energy Mechanism Emission Mechanism Counterparts References Brief Comments
LF Radio HF Radio Microwave Terahertz Optical/IR X-rays Gamma-rays Gravitational Waves Neutrinos
SNR (Pulsars) Pulsar Schwinger Pairs Single Schwinger Curv. Yes -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/2017ApJ...834..199L None

Definitions: LF Radio (3 MHz to 3 GHz); HF Radio (3 GHz to 30 GHz); Microwave (30 to 300 GHz)

Model Description

In a pulsar that is born with an extremely high spin and a magnetic field comparable to that of a magnetar, the induced electric field in the magnetosphere may be capable of drawing electron-positron pairs from the magnetosphere vacuum via the Schwinger mechanism. These so-called Schwinger pairs are then accelerated in opposite directions along the magnetic field lines to neutralise the electric field, causing oscillations in the field about zero. Schwinger pairs are created in the polar cap region, where the electric field is strongest, and the coherent curvature emission escapes along the the open magnetic field lines. The duration over which the pairs are produced corresponds to that of the FRB \cite{Lieu:2016hfw}. A repeating FRB is not expected, unless some event causes the NS to spin-up to its initial state. Such events are likely quite rare, and are unable to account for the full population of FRBs.

Observational Constraints