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Title: Polarization Signatures of Kink Instabilities in the Blazar Emission Region from Relativistic Magnetohydrodynamic Simulations

Abstract

Kink instabilities are likely to occur in the current-carrying magnetized plasma jets. Recent observations of the blazar radiation and polarization signatures suggest that the blazar emission region may be considerably magnetized. While the kink instability has been studied with first-principle magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) simulations, the corresponding time-dependent radiation and polarization signatures have not been investigated. Here, in this paper, we perform comprehensive polarization-dependent radiation modeling of the kink instability in the blazar emission region based on relativistic MHD (RMHD) simulations. We find that the kink instability may give rise to strong flares with polarization angle (PA) swings or weak flares with polarization fluctuations, depending on the initial magnetic topology and magnetization. These findings are consistent with observations. In addition, compared with the shock model, the kink model generates polarization signatures that are in better agreement with the general polarization observations. Therefore, we suggest that kink instabilities may widely exist in the jet environment and provide an efficient way to convert the magnetic energy and produce multiwavelength flares and polarization variations.

Authors:
 [1]; ORCiD logo [2]; ORCiD logo [2]; ORCiD logo [3]
  1. University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM (United States); Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States)
  2. Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States)
  3. University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Fusion Energy Sciences (FES) (SC-24)
OSTI Identifier:
1356137
Report Number(s):
LA-UR-16-27859
Journal ID: ISSN 1538-4357
Grant/Contract Number:  
AC52-06NA25396
Resource Type:
Journal Article: Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
The Astrophysical Journal (Online)
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Name: The Astrophysical Journal (Online); Journal Volume: 835; Journal Issue: 2; Journal ID: ISSN 1538-4357
Publisher:
Institute of Physics (IOP)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
79 ASTRONOMY AND ASTROPHYSICS; galaxies: active; galaxies: jets; gamma rays: galaxies; radiation mechanisms: non-thermal; relativistic processes

Citation Formats

Zhang, Haocheng, Li, Hui, Guo, Fan, and Taylor, Greg. Polarization Signatures of Kink Instabilities in the Blazar Emission Region from Relativistic Magnetohydrodynamic Simulations. United States: N. p., 2017. Web. doi:10.3847/1538-4357/835/2/125.
Zhang, Haocheng, Li, Hui, Guo, Fan, & Taylor, Greg. Polarization Signatures of Kink Instabilities in the Blazar Emission Region from Relativistic Magnetohydrodynamic Simulations. United States. doi:10.3847/1538-4357/835/2/125.
Zhang, Haocheng, Li, Hui, Guo, Fan, and Taylor, Greg. Mon . "Polarization Signatures of Kink Instabilities in the Blazar Emission Region from Relativistic Magnetohydrodynamic Simulations". United States. doi:10.3847/1538-4357/835/2/125. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1356137.
@article{osti_1356137,
title = {Polarization Signatures of Kink Instabilities in the Blazar Emission Region from Relativistic Magnetohydrodynamic Simulations},
author = {Zhang, Haocheng and Li, Hui and Guo, Fan and Taylor, Greg},
abstractNote = {Kink instabilities are likely to occur in the current-carrying magnetized plasma jets. Recent observations of the blazar radiation and polarization signatures suggest that the blazar emission region may be considerably magnetized. While the kink instability has been studied with first-principle magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) simulations, the corresponding time-dependent radiation and polarization signatures have not been investigated. Here, in this paper, we perform comprehensive polarization-dependent radiation modeling of the kink instability in the blazar emission region based on relativistic MHD (RMHD) simulations. We find that the kink instability may give rise to strong flares with polarization angle (PA) swings or weak flares with polarization fluctuations, depending on the initial magnetic topology and magnetization. These findings are consistent with observations. In addition, compared with the shock model, the kink model generates polarization signatures that are in better agreement with the general polarization observations. Therefore, we suggest that kink instabilities may widely exist in the jet environment and provide an efficient way to convert the magnetic energy and produce multiwavelength flares and polarization variations.},
doi = {10.3847/1538-4357/835/2/125},
journal = {The Astrophysical Journal (Online)},
number = 2,
volume = 835,
place = {United States},
year = {Mon Jan 23 00:00:00 EST 2017},
month = {Mon Jan 23 00:00:00 EST 2017}
}

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