Mon. Not. R. Astron. Soc., 332, 271-282 (2002/May-2)
The hydrodynamics of dead radio galaxies.
REYNOLDS C.S., HEINZ S. and BEGELMAN M.C.
Abstract (from CDS):
We present a numerical investigation of dead, or relic, radio galaxies and the environmental impact that radio galaxy activity has on the host galaxy or galaxy cluster. We perform axisymmetric hydrodynamical calculations of light, supersonic, back-to-back jets propagating in a β -model galaxy/cluster atmosphere. We then shut down the jet activity and let the resulting structure evolve passively. The dead source undergoes an initial phase of pressure driven expansion until it achieves pressure equilibrium with its surroundings. Thereafter, buoyancy forces drive the evolution and lead to the formation of two oppositely directed plumes that float high into the galaxy/cluster atmosphere. These plumes entrain a significant amount of low entropy material from the galaxy/cluster core and lift it high into the atmosphere. An important result is that a large fraction (at least half) of the energy injected by the jet activity is thermalized in the interstellar medium (ISM)/intracluster medium (ICM) core. The whole ISM/ICM atmosphere inflates in order to regain hydrostatic equilibrium. This inflation is mediated by an approximately spherical disturbance which propagates into the atmosphere at the sound speed. The fact that such a large fraction of the injected energy is thermalized suggests that radio galaxies may have an important role in the overall energy budget of rich ISM/ICM atmospheres. In particular, they may act as a strong and highly time-dependent source of negative feedback for galaxy/cluster cooling flows.