Theory Group: Recent Papers

  • Interactions of jets with inhomogeneous cloudy media
    C. J. Saxton, G. V. Bicknell, R. S. Sutherland & S. Midgley
    2005, Monthly Notices Royal Astronomical Society 359, 781.
    We present two-dimensional slab-jet simulations of jets in inhomogeneous media consisting of a tenuous hot medium populated with a small filling factor by warm, dense clouds. The simulations are relevant to the structure and dynamics of sources such as Gigahertz Peak Spectrum and Compact Steep Spectrum radio galaxies, High Redshift Radio Galaxies and radio galaxies in cooling flows. The jets are disrupted to a degree depending upon the filling factor of the clouds. With a small filling factor, the jet retains some forward momentum but also forms a halo or bubble around the source. At larger filling factors channels are formed in the cloud distribution through which the jet plasma flows and a hierarchical structure consisting of nested lobes and an outer enclosing bubble results. We suggest that the CSS quasar 3C48 is an example of a low filling factor jet — interstellar medium interaction whilst M87 may be an example of the higher filling factor type of interaction. Jet disruption occurs primarily as a result of Kelvin-Helmholtz instabilities driven by turbulence in the radio cocoon not through direct jet-cloud interactions, although there are some examples of these. In all radio galaxies whose morphology may be the result of jet interactions with an inhomogeneous interstellar medium we expect that the dense clouds will be optically observable as a result of radiative shocks driven by the pressure of the radio cocoon. We also expect that the radio galaxies will possess faint haloes of radio emitting material well beyond the observable jet structure.


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