The central engine causing the production of jets in radio sources may work intermittently, accelerating shells of plasma with different mass, energy and velocity. Faster but later shells can then catch up slower earlier ones. In the resulting collisions shocks develop, converting some of the ordered bulk kinetic energy into magnetic field and random energy of the electrons which then radiate. We propose that this internal shock scenario, which is the scenario generally thought to explain the observed gamma-ray burst radiation, can also work for radio sources in general, and for blazars in particular. We investigate in detail this idea, simulating the birth, propagation and collision of shells, calculating the spectrum produced in each collision, and summing the locally produced spectra from those regions of the jet which are simultaneously active in the observer's frame. We can thus construct snapshots of the overall spectral energy distribution, time-dependent spectra and light curves. This allows us to characterize the predicted variability at any frequency, study correlations between the emission at different frequencies, specify the contribution of each region of the jet to the total emission, and find correlations between flares at high energies and the birth of superluminal radio knots and/or radio flares. The model has been applied to reproduce qualitatively the observed properties of 3C 279. Global agreement in terms of both spectra and temporal evolution is found. In a forthcoming work, we will explore the constraints that this scenario sets on the initial conditions of the plasma injected in the jet and the shock dissipation for different classes of blazars.

Internal shocks in the jets of radio-loud quasars / Spada, M.; Ghisellini, G.; Lazzati, D.; Celotti, Anna Lisa. - In: MONTHLY NOTICES OF THE ROYAL ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY. - ISSN 0035-8711. - 325:4(2001), pp. 1559-1570. [10.1046/j.1365-8711.2001.04557.x]

Internal shocks in the jets of radio-loud quasars

Celotti, Anna Lisa
2001-01-01

Abstract

The central engine causing the production of jets in radio sources may work intermittently, accelerating shells of plasma with different mass, energy and velocity. Faster but later shells can then catch up slower earlier ones. In the resulting collisions shocks develop, converting some of the ordered bulk kinetic energy into magnetic field and random energy of the electrons which then radiate. We propose that this internal shock scenario, which is the scenario generally thought to explain the observed gamma-ray burst radiation, can also work for radio sources in general, and for blazars in particular. We investigate in detail this idea, simulating the birth, propagation and collision of shells, calculating the spectrum produced in each collision, and summing the locally produced spectra from those regions of the jet which are simultaneously active in the observer's frame. We can thus construct snapshots of the overall spectral energy distribution, time-dependent spectra and light curves. This allows us to characterize the predicted variability at any frequency, study correlations between the emission at different frequencies, specify the contribution of each region of the jet to the total emission, and find correlations between flares at high energies and the birth of superluminal radio knots and/or radio flares. The model has been applied to reproduce qualitatively the observed properties of 3C 279. Global agreement in terms of both spectra and temporal evolution is found. In a forthcoming work, we will explore the constraints that this scenario sets on the initial conditions of the plasma injected in the jet and the shock dissipation for different classes of blazars.
2001
325
4
1559
1570
Spada, M.; Ghisellini, G.; Lazzati, D.; Celotti, Anna Lisa
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11767/16408
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