Refractive convergent plasma lenses explain extreme scattering events and pulsar scintillation

Ue-Li Pen, Lindsay King
2012 Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society: Letters  
We propose convergent plasma lenses, possibly from current sheets, as a generic solution to strong interstellar scattering. These lenses resolve the overpressure problem by geometric alignment as noted by Goldreich and Shridhar (2006). They further quantitatively explain properties of extreme scattering events, and pulsar parabolic arcs. This model makes quantitative predictions testable by VLBI on scattering events. It differs conceptually from previous models by occurring through rare,
more » ... ed underdense sheets. Such sheets are thermally and kinematically stable, and could be consequences of reconnection. The apparent diffractive effects are a result of coherent interference of refractive images. We propose that these lenses can be used for precision distance determination to pulsars, enabling accurate gravity source localization.
doi:10.1111/j.1745-3933.2012.01223.x fatcat:hvhztjver5ae3mf7a3xmw4gel4