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Letter to the Editor
Is -ray absorption by induced electric fields important in the pulsar magnetospheres?
Zheng Zheng 1, 2, 3,
Bing Zhang 1, 3 and
G.J. Qiao 1, 3, 4
Received 9 March 1998 / Accepted 23 April 1998
Although the unified formula for -ray absorption process involving both the magnetic field and a perpendicular electric field derived by Daugherty & Lerche (1975) is correct, we argued in this paper that their conclusion that the induced electric fields are important in the pair formation process in the pulsar magnetospheres is wrong and misleading. The key point is that usually the direction of a photon at the emission point observed in the laboratory frame should be rather than , where v is the co-rotating velocity. This emission direction is just the one which results in zero attenuation coefficient of the photon. Calculation shows that after the photon has moved a distance, its direction lead to the result that the induced electric field is also of minor importance. Thus only process is the important mechanism for the pair production in the pulsar magnetospheres. The implications of the modification by ejecting the induced electric field are also discussed.
Key words: pulsars: general pair production
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© European Southern Observatory (ESO) 1998
Online publication: May 15, 1998