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Title: Transparency of fast radio burst waves in magnetar magnetospheres

At least some fast radio bursts (FRBs) are produced by magnetars. Even though mounting observational evidence points towards a magnetospheric origin of FRB emission, the question of the location for FRB generation continues to be debated. One argument suggested against the magnetospheric origin of bright FRBs is that the radio waves associated with an FRB may lose most of their energy before escaping the magnetosphere because the cross-section for e± to scatter large-amplitude electromagnetic waves in the presence of a strong magnetic field is much larger than the Thompson cross-section. We have investigated this suggestion and find that FRB radiation travelling through the open field line region of a magnetar’s magnetosphere does not suffer much loss due to two previously ignored factors. First, the plasma in the outer magnetosphere ($r \gtrsim 10^9$ cm), where the losses are potentially most severe, is likely to be flowing outwards at a high Lorentz factor γp ≥ 103. Secondly, the angle between the wave vector and the magnetic field vector, θB, in the outer magnetosphere is likely of the order of 0.1 radian or smaller due in part to the intense FRB pulse that tilts open magnetic field lines so that they get aligned with the pulse propagation direction. Both these effects reduce the interaction between the FRB pulse and the plasma substantially. We find that a bright FRB with an isotropic luminosity $L_{\rm frb} \gtrsim 10^{42} \, {\rm erg \ s^{-1}}$ can escape the magnetosphere unscathed for a large section of the γp − θB parameter space, and therefore conclude that the generation of FRBs in magnetar magnetosphere passes this test.

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Author(s) / Creator(s):
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Publisher / Repository:
Oxford University Press
Date Published:
Journal Name:
Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Page Range / eLocation ID:
p. 2020-2031
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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