Many magnetars are seen through their bursts, which are short bright flashes of radiation on the edge between X-ray and gamma-ray radiation. When radiation interacts with matter, it exerts a small force on that matter. In magnetar bursts, the intensity of the emitted radiation can let this force become as strong as gravity. In Chapters 2 and 3 of this thesis I have studied what happens when this force does overcome gravity, by making numerical models of magnetar atmospheres during a burst. I conclude that during these bursts magnetars will develop highly irregular outflows of matter.
In Chapter 4 I have developed a numerical model to test how the atmosphere of a magnetar alters the properties of its emission, in particular to model the observed beaming of magnetar emission, an effect whereby radiation is emitted in a preferred direction. I find that a simple model for the atmosphere of a magnetar can recreate the observed amount of beaming. This makes my model a promising way to use observations of beamed magnetar bursts to learn more about the objects emitting these bursts.
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