Signatures of Relativistic Helical Motion in the Rotation Measures of Active Galactic Nucleus Jets
Broderick, Avery E.
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CitationBroderick, Avery E., and Abraham Loeb. 2009. “SIGNATURES OF RELATIVISTIC HELICAL MOTION IN THE ROTATION MEASURES OF ACTIVE GALACTIC NUCLEUS JETS.” The Astrophysical Journal 703 (2): L104–8. https://doi.org/10.1088/0004-637x/703/2/l104.
AbstractPolarization has proven to be an invaluable tool for probing magnetic fields in relativistic jets. Maps of the intrinsic polarization vectors have provided the best evidence to date for uniform, toroidally dominated magnetic fields within jets. More recently, maps of the rotation measure (RM) in jets have for the first time probed the field geometry of the cool, moderately relativistic surrounding material. In most cases, clear signatures of the toroidal magnetic field are detected, corresponding to gradients in RM profiles transverse to the jet. However, in many objects, these profiles also display marked asymmetries that are difficult to explain in simple helical jet models. Furthermore, in some cases, the RM profiles are strongly frequency and/or time dependent. Here we show that these features may be naturally accounted for by including relativistic helical motion in the jet model. In particular, we are able to reproduce bent RM profiles observed in a variety of jets, frequency-dependent RM profile morphologies, and even the time dependence of the RM profiles of knots in 3C 273. Finally, we predict that some sources may show reversals in their RM profiles at sufficiently high frequencies, depending upon the ratio of the components of jet sheath velocity transverse and parallel to the jet. Thus, multi-frequency RM maps promise a novel way in which to probe the velocity structure of relativistic outflows.
Citable link to this pagehttp://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:41393143
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