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Title: Interplasmoid Compton scattering and the Compton dominance of BL Lacs

Abstract

ABSTRACT Blazar emission models based on magnetic reconnection succeed in reproducing many observed spectral and temporal features, including the short-duration luminous flaring events. Plasmoids, a self-consistent by-product of the tearing instability in the reconnection layer, can be the main source of blazar emission. Kinetic simulations of relativistic reconnection have demonstrated that plasmoids are characterized by rough energy equipartition between their radiating particles and magnetic fields. This is the main reason behind the apparent shortcoming of plasmoid-dominated emission models to explain the observed Compton ratios of BL Lac objects. Here, we demonstrate that the radiative interactions among plasmoids, which have been neglected so far, can assist in alleviating this contradiction. We show that photons emitted by large, slow-moving plasmoids can be a potentially important source of soft photons to be then upscattered, via inverse Compton, by small fast-moving, neighbouring plasmoids. This interplasmoid Compton scattering process can naturally occur throughout the reconnection layer, imprinting itself as an increase in the observed Compton ratios from those short and luminous plasmoid-powered flares within BL Lac sources, while maintaining energy equipartition between radiating particles and magnetic fields.

Authors:
 [1]; ORCiD logo [2];  [3];  [4]
  1. Center for Interdisciplinary Exploration & Research in Astrophysics (CIERA), Physics & Astronomy, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL 60208, USA
  2. Department of Astrophysical Sciences, Princeton University, 4 Ivy Lane, Princeton, NJ 08544, USA
  3. Department of Astronomy and Columbia Astrophysics Laboratory, Columbia University, 550 W 120th Street, New York, NY 10027, USA
  4. Department of Physics, Purdue University, 525 Northwestern Avenue, West Lafayette, IN 47907, USA, Department of Physics, University of Crete, Voutes, GR-70013 Heraklion, Greece, Institute of Astrophysics, Foundation for Research and Technology Hellas, Voutes, GR-70013 Heraklion, Greece
Publication Date:
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE
OSTI Identifier:
1581190
Grant/Contract Number:  
SC0016542
Resource Type:
Published Article
Journal Name:
Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Name: Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society Journal Volume: 492 Journal Issue: 1; Journal ID: ISSN 0035-8711
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
Country of Publication:
United Kingdom
Language:
English

Citation Formats

Christie, I. M., Petropoulou, M., Sironi, L., and Giannios, D. Interplasmoid Compton scattering and the Compton dominance of BL Lacs. United Kingdom: N. p., 2019. Web. doi:10.1093/mnras/stz3265.
Christie, I. M., Petropoulou, M., Sironi, L., & Giannios, D. Interplasmoid Compton scattering and the Compton dominance of BL Lacs. United Kingdom. doi:10.1093/mnras/stz3265.
Christie, I. M., Petropoulou, M., Sironi, L., and Giannios, D. Mon . "Interplasmoid Compton scattering and the Compton dominance of BL Lacs". United Kingdom. doi:10.1093/mnras/stz3265.
@article{osti_1581190,
title = {Interplasmoid Compton scattering and the Compton dominance of BL Lacs},
author = {Christie, I. M. and Petropoulou, M. and Sironi, L. and Giannios, D.},
abstractNote = {ABSTRACT Blazar emission models based on magnetic reconnection succeed in reproducing many observed spectral and temporal features, including the short-duration luminous flaring events. Plasmoids, a self-consistent by-product of the tearing instability in the reconnection layer, can be the main source of blazar emission. Kinetic simulations of relativistic reconnection have demonstrated that plasmoids are characterized by rough energy equipartition between their radiating particles and magnetic fields. This is the main reason behind the apparent shortcoming of plasmoid-dominated emission models to explain the observed Compton ratios of BL Lac objects. Here, we demonstrate that the radiative interactions among plasmoids, which have been neglected so far, can assist in alleviating this contradiction. We show that photons emitted by large, slow-moving plasmoids can be a potentially important source of soft photons to be then upscattered, via inverse Compton, by small fast-moving, neighbouring plasmoids. This interplasmoid Compton scattering process can naturally occur throughout the reconnection layer, imprinting itself as an increase in the observed Compton ratios from those short and luminous plasmoid-powered flares within BL Lac sources, while maintaining energy equipartition between radiating particles and magnetic fields.},
doi = {10.1093/mnras/stz3265},
journal = {Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society},
number = 1,
volume = 492,
place = {United Kingdom},
year = {2019},
month = {12}
}

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