Friday, July 29, 2016
Quantum theory and Einstein's special relativity applied to plasma physics issues
Among the intriguing issues in plasma physics are those surrounding X-ray pulsars -- collapsed stars that orbit around a cosmic companion and beam light at regular intervals, like lighthouses in the sky. Physicists want to know the strength of the magnetic field and density of the plasma that surrounds these pulsars, which can be millions of times greater than the density of plasma in stars like the sun. Researchers have developed a theory of plasma waves that can infer these properties in greater detail than in standard approaches.