A Blitzar is a very unique type of star that is hypothesised to exist. This cosmic effect can be roughly defined as a star that has a strong magnetic field so that when it collapsed into a black hole a large quantity of energy is given off. This is predicted to normally occur when a pulsar forms that is only prevented from collapsing due to its rapid spinning. Over time, energy radiates away from the doomed star, slowing down its spin until it can’t resist any longer. The rapid collapse leaves the magnetic field of the star with no source and so it creates the eponymous blitz of radiation when the field disintegrates. This demonstrates the explosive power of magnetic fields often described as the magnetic reconnection effect where one magnetic field collapses or perhaps many are splice together causing a massive rearrangement in and an incredible release of energy. Many questions exist but there are three major ones:
- Why does reconnection occur faster then theory predicts?
- Why and how is energy converted from magnetic to kinetic?
- What is the cause of this conversation, what unites the effect?
A paper released a few days ago takes a wide view at answering these questions and uses methods of statistical analysis, an incredibly powerful analytical tool, to help explain and provide answers to these questions. The greatest success of the paper was answering the first question both by demonstrating flaws or at least errors in thinking present in previous theories and suggesting that apart from the Hall effect there is a process where the layers of current are broken up and plasmoids, regions of independent circular magnetic fields, are generated. The paper ends with the suggestion that more laboratory research is needed in order to gain a more realistic understanding of magnetic and how they can be applied in high intensity condensed matter physics.