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Title: Are Crab nanoshots Schwinger sparks?

The highest brightness temperature ever observed are from "nanoshots" from the Crab pulsar which we argue could be the signature of bursts of vacuum e± pair production. If so this would be the first time the astronomical Schwinger effect has been observed. These "Schwinger sparks" would be an intermittent but extremely powerful, ~103 L, 10 PeV e± accelerator in the heart of the Crab. These nanosecond duration sparks are generated in a volume less than 1 m3 and the existence of such sparks has implications for the small scale structure of the magnetic field of young pulsars such as the Crab. As a result, this mechanism may also play a role in producing other enigmatic bright short radio transients such as fast radio bursts.
 [1] ;  [2]
  1. Fermi National Accelerator Lab. (FNAL), Batavia, IL (United States)
  2. Univ. of Wisconsin, Madison, WI (United States); Fermi National Accelerator Lab. (FNAL), Batavia, IL (United States); Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States); Univ. of California, Berkeley, CA (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Report Number(s):
arXiv eprint number arXiv:1505.06400
DOE Contract Number:
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Research Org:
Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (FNAL), Batavia, IL (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), High Energy Physics (HEP) (SC-25)
Country of Publication:
United States