Numerical Evaluation of the Relativistic Magnetized Plasma Susceptibility Tensor and Faraday Rotation Coefficients

Alex Pandya, Mani Chandra, Abhishek Joshi, Charles F. Gammie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Polarized models of relativistically hot astrophysical plasmas require transport coefficients as input: synchrotron absorption and emission coefficients in each of the four Stokes parameters, as well as three Faraday rotation coefficients. Approximations are known for all coefficients for a small set of electron distribution functions, such as the Maxwell-Jüttner relativistic thermal distribution, and a general procedure has been obtained by Huang & Shcherbakov for an isotropic distribution function. Here we provide an alternative general procedure, with a full derivation, for calculating absorption and rotation coefficients for an arbitrary isotropic distribution function. Our method involves the computation of the full plasma susceptibility tensor, which in addition to absorption and rotation coefficients may be used to determine plasma modes and the dispersion relation. We implement the scheme in a publicly available library ( with a simple interface, thus allowing for easy incorporation into radiation transport codes. We also provide a comprehensive survey of the literature and comparison with earlier results.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number13
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - Nov 20 2018


  • plasmas
  • polarization
  • radiation mechanisms: general
  • radiative transfer
  • relativistic processes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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