7,068 research outputs found

    The challenge of turbulent acceleration of relativistic particles in the intra-cluster medium

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    Acceleration of cosmic-ray electrons (CRe) in the intra-cluster-medium (ICM) is probed by radio observations that detect diffuse, Mpc-scale, synchrotron sources in a fraction of galaxy clusters. Giant radio halos are the most spectacular manifestations of non-thermal activity in the ICM and are currently explained assuming that turbulence driven during massive cluster-cluster mergers reaccelerates CRe at several GeV. This scenario implies a hierarchy of complex mechanisms in the ICM that drain energy from large-scales into electromagnetic fluctuations in the plasma and collisionless mechanisms of particle acceleration at much smaller scales. In this paper we focus on the physics of acceleration by compressible turbulence. The spectrum and damping mechanisms of the electromagnetic fluctuations, and the mean-free-path (mfp) of CRe are the most relevant ingredients that determine the efficiency of acceleration. These ingredients in the ICM are however poorly known and we show that calculations of turbulent acceleration are also sensitive to these uncertainties. On the other hand this fact implies that the non-thermal properties of galaxy clusters probe the complex microphysics and the weakly collisional nature of the ICM.Comment: 13 pages, 3 figures. Invited paper for the 42th EPS conference on plasma physics (2015), accepted for publication in Plasma Physics and Controlled Fusion. This is an author-created, un-copyedited version of an article accepted for publication in PPCF. IOP Publishing Ltd is not responsible for any errors or omissions in this version of the manuscript or any version derived from i

    Anisotropic inverse Compton scattering from the trans-relativistic to the ultra-relativistic regime and application to the radio galaxies

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    The problem of the anisotropic Inverse Compton scattering between a monochromatic photon beam and relativistic electrons is revisited and formally solved without approximations. Solutions are given for the single scattering with an electron beam and with a population of electrons isotropically distributed, under the assumption that the energy distribution of the relativistic particles follows a simple power law as it is the case in many astrophysical applications. Both the Thomson approximation and the Klein-Nishina regime are considered for the scattering of an unpolarized photon beam. The equations are obtained without the ultra-relativistic approximation and are compared with the ultra-relativistic solutions given in the literature. The main characteristics of the power distribution and spectra of the scattered radiation are discussed for relevant examples. In the Thomson case for an isotropic electron population simple formulae holding down to mildly-relativistic energies are given. As an application the formulae of the anisotropic inverse Compton scattering are used to predict the properties of the X and ő≥\gamma-ray spectra from the radio lobes of strong FR II radio galaxies due to the interaction of the relativistic electrons with the incoming photons from the nucleus. The dependence of the emitted power on the relativistic electron energy distribution and on its evolution with time is discussed.Comment: 35 pages, 17 .ps figures, LaTex, to appear in Astroparticle Physic

    Anisotropic inverse Compton emission in the radio galaxy 3C 265

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    We present the results from a Chandra observation of the powerful radio galaxy 3C 265. We detect X-ray emission from the nucleus, the radio hotspots and lobes. In particular, the lobe X-ray emission is well explained as anisotropic inverse Compton scattering of the nuclear photons by the relativistic electrons in the radio lobes; the comparison between radio synchrotron and IC emission yields a magnetic field strength a factor about 2 lower than that calculated under minimum energy conditions. The X-ray spectrum of the nucleus is consistent with that of a powerful, strongly absorbed quasar and the X-ray emission of the south-eastern hotspot can be successfully reproduced by a combination of synchro-self Compton and inverse Compton emission assuming a magnetic field slightly lower than equipartition.Comment: 5 pages, 6 figures, to be published as a Letter on Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Societ

    Cluster Mergers, Radio Halos and Hard X-ray Tails: A Statistical Magneto-Turbulent Model

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    There is now firm evidence that the ICM consists of a mixture of hot plasma, magnetic fields and relativistic particles. The most important evidences for non-thermal phenomena in galaxy clusters comes from the diffuse Mpc-scale synchrotron radio emission (radio halos) observed in a growing number of massive clusters (Feretti 2003) and from hard X-ray (HXR) excess emission (detected in a few cases) which can be explained in terms of IC scattering of relativistic electrons off the cosmic microwave background photons (Fusco-Femiano et al. 2003). There are now growing evidences that giant radio halos may be naturally accounted for by synchrotron emission from relativistic electrons reaccelerated by some kind of turbulence generated in the cluster volume during merger events (Brunetti 2003). With the aim to investigate the connection between thermal and non-thermal properties of the ICM, we have developed a statistical magneto-turbulent model which describes the evolution of the thermal and non-thermal emission from clusters. We calculate the energy and spectrum of the magnetosonic waves generated during cluster mergers, the acceleration and evolution of relativistic electrons and thus the resulting synchrotron and inverse Compton spectra. Here we give a brief description of the main results, while a more detailed discussion will be presented in a forthcoming paper. Einstein-De Sitter cosmology, Ho=50H_o=50 km s‚ąí1s^{-1}Mpc‚ąí1Mpc^{-1}, qo=0.5q_o=0.5, is assumed.Comment: 3 pages, 2 figures. To appear in the proceedings of IAU Colloquium 195 - "Outskirts of galaxy clusters: intense life in the suburbs", Torino, Italy, March 12-16, 200

    Stochastic reacceleration of relativistic electrons by turbulent reconnection: a mechanism for cluster-scale radio emission ?

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    In this paper we investigate a situation where relativistic particles are reaccelerated diffusing across regions of reconnection and magnetic dynamo in super-Alfvenic, incompressible large-scale turbulence. We present an exploratory study of this mechanism in the intra-cluster-medium (ICM). In view of large-scale turbulence in the ICM we adopt a reconnection scheme that is based on turbulent reconnection and MHD turbulence. In this case particles are accelerated and decelerated in a systematic way in reconnecting and magnetic-dynamo regions, respectively, and on longer time-scales undergo a stochastic process diffusing across these sites (similar to second-order Fermi). Our study extends on larger scales numerical studies that focused on the acceleration in and around turbulent reconnecting regions. We suggest that this mechanism may play a role in the reacceleration of relativistic electrons in galaxy clusters providing a new physical scenario to explain the origin of cluster-scale diffuse radio emission. Indeed differently from current turbulent reacceleration models proposed for example for radio halos this mechanism is based on the effect of large-scale incompressible and super-Alfvenic turbulence. In this new model turbulence governs the interaction between relativistic particles and magnetic field lines that diffuse, reconnect and are stretched in the turbulent ICM.Comment: 13 pages, 2 figures, MNRAS in pres

    A giant radio halo in the massive and merging cluster Abell 1351

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    We report on the detection of diffuse radio emission in the X-ray luminous and massive galaxy cluster A1351 (z=0.322) using archival Very Large Array data at 1.4 GHz. Given its central location, morphology, and Mpc-scale extent, we classify the diffuse source as a giant radio halo. X-ray and weak lensing studies show A1351 to be a system undergoing a major merger. The halo is associated with the most massive substructure. The presence of this source is explained assuming that merger-driven turbulence may re-accelerate high-energy particles in the intracluster medium and generate diffuse radio emission on the cluster scale. The position of A1351 in the logP1.4GHz_{1.4 GHz} - logLX_{X} plane is consistent with that of all other radio-halo clusters known to date, supporting a causal connection between the unrelaxed dynamical state of massive (>1015M‚äô>10^{15} M_{\odot}) clusters and the presence of giant radio halos.Comment: 4 pages, 3 figures, proof corrections include
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