Particle acceleration in mildly relativistic shearing flows: the interplay of systematic and stochastic effects, and the origin of the extended high-energy emission in AGN jets.
LIU R.-Y., RIEGER F.M. and AHARONIAN F.A.
Abstract (from CDS):
The origin of the extended X-ray emission in the large-scale jets of active galactic nuclei (AGNs) poses challenges to conventional models of acceleration and emission. Although electron synchrotron radiation is considered the most feasible radiation mechanism, the formation of the continuous large-scale X-ray structure remains an open issue. As astrophysical jets are expected to exhibit some turbulence and shearing motion, we here investigate the potential of shearing flows to facilitate an extended acceleration of particles and evaluate its impact on the resultant particle distribution. Our treatment incorporates systematic shear and stochastic second-order Fermi effects. We show that for typical parameters applicable to large-scale AGN jets, stochastic second-order Fermi acceleration, which always accompanies shear particle acceleration, can play an important role in facilitating the whole process of particle energization. We study the time-dependent evolution of the resultant particle distribution in the presence of second-order Fermi acceleration, shear acceleration, and synchrotron losses using a simple Fokker-Planck approach and provide illustrations for the possible emergence of a complex (multicomponent) particle energy distribution with different spectral branches. We present examples for typical parameters applicable to large-scale AGN jets, indicating the relevance of the underlying processes for understanding the extended X-ray emission and the origin of ultrahigh-energy cosmic rays.