### Abstract

Runaway processes on neutron stars leading to the sudden release of large quantities of energy (up to of order 10^{40} erg) on time scales as short as a fraction of a second involve plasma heating and particle acceleration in superstrong magnetic fields H (of order 10^{12} G). These transient events are interesting from a theoretical standpoint because they require knowledge of particle transport properties in low-density plasmas (n_{e} ≲ 10^{25} cm^{-3}) threaded by both electric (E) and magnetic fields. The evaluation of matrix elements involving solutions to the Dirac equation for such a field configuration is often difficult and sometimes impossible, since no completely normalized wave function has yet been found. Here it is shown that, in the special case of E/H ≲ 10^{-4}, a simplification of the overlap integrals permits an analytical integration that yields explicit expressions for the relativistic charge currents needed in the computation of the anisotropic conductivity tensor when E.H ≠ 0. The application of these results to the evaluation of the conductivity is briefly discussed. Among other things, this work is relevant to a theory of resistive magnetic tearing instabilities in a quantizing field.

Original language | English (US) |
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Pages (from-to) | 415-425 |

Number of pages | 11 |

Journal | Journal of Plasma Physics |

Volume | 45 |

Issue number | pt 3 |

Publication status | Published - Jun 1991 |

Externally published | Yes |

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### ASJC Scopus subject areas

- Physics and Astronomy(all)
- Condensed Matter Physics

### Cite this

*Journal of Plasma Physics*,

*45*(pt 3), 415-425.