Photon polarization tensor in a magnetized plasma: Absorptive part

Xinyang Wang, Igor Shovkovy

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14 Scopus citations


We calculate the absorptive part of the photon polarization tensor in a hot magnetized relativistic plasma. In the derivation, we utilize a Landau-level representation for the fermion Green's function in a mixed coordinate-momentum space and obtain a closed-form expression for the one-loop polarization tensor. At the leading order in the coupling, its absorptive part is determined by particle and antiparticle splitting processes (e-↔e-+γ and e+↔e++γ, respectively), as well as by particle-antiparticle annihilation processes (e-+e+↔γ). The interpretation in terms of quantum transitions between Landau levels is also given. By making use of the photon polarization tensor, we study the differential photon emission rate in the quantum limit of magnetized relativistic plasma. At low energies, the photon emission has a prolate profile with the symmetry axis along the line of the magnetic field. At high energies, on the other hand, the photon emission has an oblate profile. The underlying reasons for such emission profiles are given in both regimes. The general result for the photon polarization tensor is also used to calculate the longitudinal and transverse components of magneto-optical conductivity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number056017
JournalPhysical Review D
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 1 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nuclear and High Energy Physics


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