Low-frequency waves in asymmetric magnetized relativistic pair plasma

M. Gedalin, E. Gruman, D. B. Melrose

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


The properties of waves in a pulsar magnetosphere are considered in the most general case of a non-neutral, current-carrying pair plasma with arbitrary distribution functions for electrons and positrons. General dispersion relations are derived for a strong but finite magnetic field, including gyrotropic terms caused by the deviations from quasi-neutrality and the relative streaming of electrons and positrons. It is shown how the ellipticity of the wave polarization depends on the plasma parameters and angle of propagation. Two examples of plasma distributions are analysed numerically: a waterbag distribution and a piecewise distribution that models the numerical result for pair cascades. A possible application to the interpretation of the observed circular polarization of some pulsars is discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)715-725
Number of pages11
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 Aug 2001


  • Magnetic fields
  • Plasmas
  • Pulsars: general
  • Waves

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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