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Magnetic field, reconnection, and particle acceleration in extragalactic jetsExtra-galactic radio jets are investigated theoretically taking into account that the jet magnetic field is dragged out from the central rotating source by the jet flow. Thus, magnetohydrodynamic models of jets are considered with zero net poloidal current and flux, and consequently a predominantly toroidal magnetic field. The magnetic field naturally has a cylindrical neutral layer. Collisionless reconnection of the magnetic field in the vicinity of the neutral layer acts to generate a non-axisymmetric radial magnetic field. In turn, axial shear-stretching of reconnected toroidal field gives rise to a significant axial magnetic field if the flow energy-density is larger than the energy-density of the magnetic field. This can lead to jets with an apparent longitudinal magnetic field as observed in the Fanaroff-Riley class II jets. In the opposite limit, where the field energy-density is large, the field remains mainly toroidal as observed in Fanaroff-Riley class I jets. Driven collisionless reconnection at neutral layers may lead to acceleration of electrons to relativistic energies in the weak electrostatic field of the neutral layer. A simple model is discussed for particle acceleration at neutral layers in electron/positron and electron/proton plasmas.
Document ID
Document Type
Reprint (Version printed in journal)
Romanova, M. M.
(Russian Academy of Sciences Inst. of Space Research, Moscow, Russia)
Lovelace, R. V. E.
(Cornell Univ. Ithaca, NY, United States)
Date Acquired
August 16, 2013
Publication Date
August 1, 1992
Publication Information
Publication: Astronomy and Astrophysics
Volume: 262
Issue: 1
ISSN: 0004-6361
Subject Category
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