AffiliationUniv Arizona, Dept Phys
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherAMER PHYSICAL SOC
CitationEnergy conservation and the chiral magnetic effect 2017, 96 (1) Physical Review D
JournalPhysical Review D
Rights© 2017 American Physical Society
Collection InformationThis item from the UA Faculty Publications collection is made available by the University of Arizona with support from the University of Arizona Libraries. If you have questions, please contact us at email@example.com.
AbstractWe analyze the chiral magnetic effect in a homogeneous neutral plasma from the point of view of energy conservation, and construct an effective potential for the growth of maximally helical perturbations of the electromagnetic field. We show that a negative curvature at the origin of the potential, indicating instability of the plasma, is induced by a chiral asymmetry in electron Fermi energy, as opposed to number density, while the potential grows at large field value. It follows that the ground state for a plasma has zero magnetic helicity; a nonzero electron mass will allow an excited state of a plasma with nonzero helicity to relax to that ground state quickly. We conclude that a chiral plasma instability triggered by weak interactions is not a viable mechanism for explaining magnetic fields in stars except possibly when dynamics drives the system far from equilibrium.
VersionFinal published version
SponsorsDOE [DE-FG02-00ER41132, DE-FG02-04ER41338]; Thomas L. and Margo G. Wyckoff Endowed Faculty Fellowship