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Electromagnetic Surges

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For over a decade, radio astronomers have been observing Fast Radio Bursts – millisecond pulses of intense radio emission from cosmologically distant sources. They now appear to be associated with strongly magnetised neutron stars, called magnetars, where extreme QED and plasma processes take place. The rapidly developing observational picture will be summarised. The possibility that Fast Radio Bursts, as well as pulsar radio emission, are an expression of force-free electrodynamics, as originally developed by Maxwell, will be discussed.

This talk is part of the The Kavli Lectures series.

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