THE existence of extremely strong magnetic fields in neutron stars and white dwarfs is now universally accepted. A possible mechanism by which such fields could originate was proposed by two of us1, and involves the existence of thermodynamic equilibrium states (LOFER states) of an electron gas, which self-consistently maintain the required field provided the temperature is kept below a certain critical value, Tc. Such states are relatively stable (or metastable) states. We pointed out that the decay time from any of these states to any other state (including the absolutely stable states) is long enough to make them virtually stable (or quasistable).
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Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences (1975)