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Chandra Observations of Magnetic Fields and Relativistic Beaming in Four Quasar Jets


Schwartz, DA and Marshall, HL and Lovell, JEJ and Murphy, DW and Bicknell, GV and Birkinshaw, M and Gelbord, J and Georganopoulos, M and Godfrey, L and Jauncey, DL and Perlman, ES and Worrall, DM, Chandra Observations of Magnetic Fields and Relativistic Beaming in Four Quasar Jets, The Astrophysical Journal, 640, (2 I) pp. 592-602. ISSN 0004-637X (2006) [Refereed Article]

DOI: doi:10.1086/500102


We discuss the physical properties of four quasar jets imaged with the Chandra X-Ray Observatory in the course of a survey for X-ray emission from radio jets (Marshall et al.). These objects have sufficient counts to study their spatially resolved properties, even in the 5 ks survey observations. We have acquired Australia Telescope Compact Array data with resolution matching Chandra. We have searched for optical emission with Magellan, with subarcsecond resolution. The radio to X-ray spectral energy distribution for most of the individual regions indicates against synchrotron radiation from a single-component electron spectrum. We therefore explore the consequences of assuming that the X-ray emission is the result of inverse Compton scattering on the cosmic microwave background. If particles and magnetic fields are near minimum energy density in the jet rest frames, then the emitting regions must be relativistically beamed, even at distances of order 500 kpc from the quasar. We estimate the magnetic field strengths, relativistic Doppler factors, and kinetic energy flux as a function of distance from the quasar core for two or three distinct regions along each jet. We develop, for the first time, estimates in the uncertainties in these parameters, recognizing that they are dominated by our assumptions in applying the standard synchrotron minimum energy conditions. The kinetic power is comparable with, or exceeds, the quasar radiative luminosity, implying that the jets are a significant factor in the energetics of the accretion process powering the central black hole. The measured radiative efficiencies of the jets are of order 10-4. © 2006. The American Astronomical Society. All rights reserved.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Research Division:Physical Sciences
Research Group:Astronomical sciences
Research Field:Galactic astronomy
Objective Division:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Group:Expanding knowledge
Objective Field:Expanding knowledge in the physical sciences
UTAS Author:Lovell, JEJ (Dr Jim Lovell)
ID Code:45350
Year Published:2006
Web of Science® Times Cited:33
Deposited By:Physics
Deposited On:2007-07-11
Last Modified:2007-07-11

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