Magnetic energy dissipation via reconnective relaxation in astrophysical jets

G. E. Vekstein*, E. R. Priest, C. D.C. Steele

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The magnetic energy release through field-line reconnection is considered for a force-free jet which expands (or contracts) radially in response to variations in the confining external pressure. The main new result obtained in comparison with previous publications on the subject, where this mechanism has been proposed, is that a self-consistent theory for the reconnective relaxation of the jet's magnetic configuration has been constructed. It enables us to calculate the magnetic energy dissipation rate inside a jet for an arbitrary value of the ratio τrv, where τr is a typical reconnection time and τv is the expansion time. Thus these results provide a well-grounded support to the conclusion that this magnetic energy dissipation mechanism could, in principle, power the observed radio emission in extragalactic jets. Moreover, knowing the observed radiation power (and, hence, the required energy supply) it is possible to obtain information about the value of τr, which enters in the theory as a phenomenological parameter.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)111-118
Number of pages8
JournalAstrophysical Journal, Supplement Series
Volume92
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - May 1994

Keywords

  • Galaxies: jets
  • MHD

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