Simulations of nonthermal electron transport in multidimensional flows: Application to radio galaxies

T. W. Jones, I. L. Tregillis, Dongsu Ryu

Research output: Contribution to journalShort surveypeer-review

2 Scopus citations


We have developed an economical, effective numerical scheme for cosmic-ray transport suitable for treatment of electrons up to a few hundreds of GeV in multidimensional simulations of radio galaxies. The method follows the electron population in sufficient detail to allow computation of synthetic radio and X-ray observations of the simulated sources, including spectral properties (see the companion paper by Tregillis, Jones and Ryu, these Proceedings). The cosmic-ray particle simulations can follow the effects of shock acceleration, second-order Fermi acceleration as well as radiative and adiabatic energy losses. We have applied this scheme to 2-D and 3-D MHD simulations of jet-driven flows and have begun to explore links between dynamics and the properties of high energy electron populations in radio lobes. The key initial discovery is the great importance to the high energy particle population of the very unsteady and inhomogeneous flows, especially near the end of the jet. Because of this, in particular, our simulations show that a large fraction of the particle population flowing from the jet into the cocoon never passes through strong shocks. The shock strengths encountered are not simply predicted by 1-D models, and are quite varied. Consequently, the emergent electron spectra are highly heterogeneous. Rates of synchrotron aging in "hot-spots" seem similarly to be very uneven, enhancing complexity in the spectral properties of electrons as they emerge into the lobes and making more difficult the task of comparing dynamical and radiative ages.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)381-385
Number of pages5
JournalNew Astronomy Reviews
Issue number2-7
StatePublished - 2002

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported at the University of Minnesota by the NSF through grant AST96-16964 and by the University of Minnesota Supercomputing Institute. DR was supported in part by KOSEF through grant 975-0200-06-2.


  • Acceleration of particles
  • Galaxies: Jets
  • MHD
  • Methods: Numerical
  • Radio continuum: Galaxies


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