First dynamic computations of synchrotron emission from the Cygnus a radio cavity: evidence for electron pair plasma in cavity.
Abstract (from CDS):
Cosmic rays, thermal gas and magnetic fields in FRII radio cavities are assumed to come entirely from winds flowing from just behind the jet shocks. Combining analytic and computational methods, it is shown that the computed radio-electron energy distribution and synchrotron emissivity spectra everywhere in the Cygnus A radio cavity agree with radio observations of the Cygnus A lobes. The magnetic field energy density is small everywhere and evolves passively in the post-shock wind. Most synchrotron emission arises in recent post-shock material as it flows back along the radio cavity wall. Because it experienced less adiabatic expansion, the magnetic field in this young backflow is larger than elsewhere in the radio lobe, explaining the observed radio synchrotron limb-brightening. The boundary backflow decelerates due to small cavity pressure gradients, causing large-scale fields perpendicular to the backflow (and synchrotron emission) to grow exponentially unlike observations. However, if the field is random on subgrid (sub-kpc) scales, the computed field reproduces both the magnitude and slowly decreasing radio synchrotron emissivity observed along the backflow. The radio synchrotron spectrum and image computed with a small-scale random field agree with Very Large Array observations. The total relativistic energy density in the post-jet shock region required in computations to inflate the radio cavity matches the energy density of relativistic electrons observed in the post-shock region of Cygnus A. This indicates that the component in the jet and cavity that dominates the dynamical evolution is a relativistic pair plasma.
galaxies: individual: Cygnus A - hydrodynamics - radio continuum: galaxies - X-rays: galaxies: clusters