Journal Article

Thermoresistive instability in magnetar crusts

Steve Price, Bennett Link, Richard I. Epstein and Hui Li

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

Published on behalf of The Royal Astronomical Society

Volume 420, issue 2, pages 949-956
Published in print February 2012 | ISSN: 0035-8711
Published online January 2012 | e-ISSN: 1365-2966 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2966.2011.19807.x
Thermoresistive instability in magnetar crusts

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We investigate a thermoresistive instability in the outer crusts of magnetars wherein a perturbation in temperature increases ohmic heating. We show that magnetars of characteristic age τage∼ 104 yr are unstable over time-scales as short as days if strong current sheets are present in the outer crust. This instability could play an important role in the thermal and magnetic field evolution of magnetars, and may be related to bursting activity in magnetars.

Keywords: dense matter; instabilities; magnetic fields; stars: magnetars

Journal Article.  4500 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics

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