Calorimetry of active galactic nucleus jets: testing plasma composition in Cygnus A.
KINO M., KAWAKATU N. and TAKAHARA F.
Abstract (from CDS):
We examine plasma composition of jets in active galactic nuclei through the comparison of the total pressure (P) with partial pressures of electrons and protons in a cocoon. The total pressure is estimated from the analysis of expanding cocoon dynamics. We determine the average kinetic energy per particle for several representative cases of particle energy distribution such as one- and two-temperature thermal plasmas and non-thermal electrons by evaluating the dissipation of the total kinetic energy of the jet into the internal energy of cocoon plasma. The number density of the total electrons/positrons (n±) in the cocoon is constrained by using the particle supply from hot spots and the absence of thermal bremsstrahlung emission from radio lobes. By inserting P, n±, and the particle energy of each population into the equation of state, the number density (np) and pressure (Pp) of protons in the cocoon can be constrained. Applying this method to Cygnus A, we find that (1) electron/positron (e ±) pairs always dominate in terms of number density, but that (2) either an "e ±-supported cocoon (i.e., P±> Pp )" or a "proton-supported one (i.e., P±< Pp)" is possible.
galaxies: individual: Cygnus A - magnetic fields - radiation mechanisms: non-thermal - radio continuum: galaxies - X-rays: galaxies