Astronomy and Astrophysics, volume 436, 503-526 (2005/6-3)
Relativistic MHD simulations of extragalactic jets.
LEISMANN T., ANTON L., ALOY M.A., MUELLER E., MARTI J.M., MIRALLES J.A. and IBANEZ J.M.
Abstract (from CDS):
We have performed a comprehensive parameter study of the morphology and dynamics of axisymmetric, magnetized, relativistic jets by means of numerical simulations. The simulations have been performed with an upgraded version of the GENESIS code which is based on a second-order accurate finite volume method involving an approximate Riemann solver suitable for relativistic ideal magnetohydrodynamic flows, and a method of lines. Starting from pure hydrodynamic models we consider the effect of a magnetic field of increasing strength (up to β=|b|2/2p≃3.3 times the equipartition value) and different topology (purely toroidal or poloidal). We computed several series of models investigating the dependence of the dynamics on the magnetic field in jets of different beam Lorentz factor and adiabatic index. We find that the inclusion of the magnetic field leads to diverse effects which contrary to Newtonian magnetohydrodynamics models do not always scale linearly with the (relative) strength of the magnetic field. The relativistic models show, however, some clear trends. Axisymmetric jets with toroidal magnetic fields produce a cavity which consists of two parts: an inner one surrounding the beam which is compressed by magnetic forces, and an adjacent outer part which is inflated due to the action of the magnetic field. The outer border of the outer part of the cavity is given by the bow-shock where its interaction with the external medium takes place. Toroidal magnetic fields well below equipartition (β=0.05) combined with a value of the adiabatic index of 4/3 yield extremely smooth jet cavities and stable beams. Prominent nose cones form when jets are confined by toroidal fields and carry a high Poynting flux (σ=|b|2/ρ>0.01 and β≥1). In contrast, none of our models possessing a poloidal field develops such a nose cone. The size of the nose cone is correlated with the propagation speed of the Mach disc (the smaller the speed the larger is the size). If two models differ only by the adiabatic index, jets having smaller adiabatic indices tend to develop smaller nose cones.