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Nonaxisymmetric Hall instability: A key to understanding magnetars

Gourgouliatos, K.N.; Pons, José A.

Nonaxisymmetric Hall instability: A key to understanding magnetars Thumbnail


K.N. Gourgouliatos

José A. Pons


It is generally accepted that the nonlinear, dynamical evolution of magnetic fields in the interior of neutron stars plays a key role in the explanation of the observed phenomenology. Understanding the transfer of energy between toroidal and poloidal components, or between different scales, is of particular relevance. In this Rapid Communication, we present the first three-dimensional (3D) simulations of the Hall instability in a neutron star crust, confirming its existence for typical magnetar conditions. We compare our results to estimates obtained by a linear perturbation analysis, which discards any interpretation as numerical instabilities and confirms its physical origin. Interestingly, the Hall instability creates locally strong magnetic structures that occasionally can make the crust yield to the magnetic stresses and generates coronal loops, similar to the way solar coronal loops find their way out through the photosphere. This supports the viability of the mechanism, which has been proposed to explain magnetar outbursts.

Journal Article Type Article
Online Publication Date Dec 30, 2019
Publication Date Dec 30, 2019
Deposit Date Jan 10, 2020
Publicly Available Date Jan 10, 2020
Journal Physical Review Research
Publisher American Physical Society
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 1
Issue 3
Article Number 032049(R)
Public URL


Published Journal Article (1.7 Mb)

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Copyright Statement
Published by the American Physical Society under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International license. Further distribution of this work must maintain attribution to the author(s) and the published article's title, journal citation, and DOI.

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