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Christopher Thompson

PI (Neutron Stars)

I have been on the faculty of the Canadian Institute for Theoretical Astrophysics at the University of Toronto since 2000. I have a longstanding interest in the astrophysical manifestations of super-QED magnetic fields (the magnetar phenomenon), including their amplification in dense matter and their dissipation in relativistic outflows (gamma-ray bursts and fast radio bursts).  My recent work connected to SCEECS investigates the imprint of nonlinear QED processes on plasma and radiation in ultrastrong magnetic fields, the global elastic/plastic properties of magnetars, resisitive instabilities as a driver of coherent pulsed radio emission, the interaction of plasma turbulence with strongly magnetized shocks, and the generation of magnetic helicity in rotating stars. I received my B.Sc. from Caltech and a Ph.D. in Physics from Princeton.  



Five recent relevant references

C. Thompson and R.C. Duncan 1995. The Soft Gamma Repeaters as

Very Strongly Magnetized Neutron Stars. - I. Radiative Mechanism

for Outbursts. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 275, 255-300.


C. Thompson and O. Blaes 1998.  Magnetohydrodynamics in the Extreme Relativistic Limit.

Physical Review D, 57, 6, 3219-3234.


C. Thompson, H. Yang, and N. Ortiz 2017. Global Crustal Dynamics of

Magnetars in Relation to Their Bright X-ray Outbursts. Astrophysical Journal, 841, 54, 31 pp.


C. Thompson and A. Kostenko 2020. Pair Plasma in Super-QED

Magnetic Fields and the Hard X-ray/Optical Emission of Magnetars.

Astrophysical Journal, 904, 184, 23 pp.


C. Thompson 2023. Direct Emission of Strong Radio Pulses during Magnetar Flares.

Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 519, 497, 22 pp.


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