Applying Relativistic Reconnection to Blazar Jets
Nicolaus Copernicus Astronomical Center, Polish Academy of Sciences, Bartycka 18, Warsaw 00-716, Poland
Academic Editors: Jose L. Gómez, Alan P. Marscher and Svetlana G. Jorstad
Received: 15 July 2016 / Revised: 2 September 2016 / Accepted: 3 September 2016 / Published: 8 September 2016
Rapid and luminous flares of non-thermal radiation observed in blazars require an efficient mechanism of energy dissipation and particle acceleration in relativistic active galactic nuclei (AGN) jets. Particle acceleration in relativistic magnetic reconnection is being actively studied by kinetic numerical simulations. Relativistic reconnection produces hard power-law electron energy distributions
and exponential cut-off Lorentz factor
in the limit of magnetization
is the relativistic enthalpy density). Reconnection in electron-proton plasma can additionally boost
by the mass ratio
. Hence, in order to accelerate particles to
in the case of BL Lacs, reconnection should proceed in plasma of very high magnetization
. On the other hand, moderate mean jet magnetization values are required for magnetic bulk acceleration of relativistic jets,
is the jet bulk Lorentz factor). I propose that the systematic dependence of
on blazar luminosity class—the blazar sequence—may result from a systematic trend in
due to homogeneous loading of leptons by pair creation regulated by the energy density of high-energy external radiation fields. At the same time, relativistic AGN jets should be highly inhomogeneous due to filamentary loading of protons, which should determine the value of
roughly independently of the blazar class.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).
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MDPI and ACS Style
Nalewajko, K. Applying Relativistic Reconnection to Blazar Jets. Galaxies 2016, 4, 28.
Nalewajko K. Applying Relativistic Reconnection to Blazar Jets. Galaxies. 2016; 4(3):28.
Nalewajko, Krzysztof. 2016. "Applying Relativistic Reconnection to Blazar Jets." Galaxies 4, no. 3: 28.
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