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Search Results: 1 - 10 of 10466 matches for " Jonathan Zrake "
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Crab flares due to turbulent dissipation of the pulsar striped wind
Jonathan Zrake
Physics , 2015,
Abstract: We interpret $\gamma$-ray flares from the Crab Nebula as the signature of turbulence in the pulsar's electromagnetic outflow. Turbulence is triggered upstream by dynamical instability of the wind's oscillating magnetic field, and accelerates non-thermal particles. On impacting the wind termination shock, those particles emit a distinct synchrotron component $F_{\nu,\rm flare}$, which is constantly modulated by intermittency of the upstream plasma flow. Flares are observed when the high-energy cutoff of $F_{\nu,\rm flare}$ emerges above the fast-declining nebular emission around 0.1 - 1 GeV. Simulations carried out in the force-free electrodynamics approximation predict the striped wind to become fully turbulent well ahead of the wind termination shock, provided its terminal Lorentz factor is $\lesssim 10^4$.
Inverse cascade of non-helical magnetic turbulence in a relativistic fluid
Jonathan Zrake
Physics , 2014, DOI: 10.1088/2041-8205/794/2/L26
Abstract: The free decay of non-helical relativistic magnetohydrodynamic turbulence is studied numerically, and found to exhibit cascading of magnetic energy toward large scales. Evolution of the magnetic energy spectrum $P_M(k,t)$ is self-similar in time and well modeled by a broken power law with sub-inertial and inertial range indices very close to $7/2$ and $-2$ respectively. The magnetic coherence scale is found to grow in time as $t^{2/5}$, much too slow to account for optical polarization of gamma-ray burst afterglow emission if magnetic energy is to be supplied only at microphysical length scales. No bursty or explosive energy loss is observed in relativistic MHD turbulence having modest magnetization, which constrains magnetic reconnection models for rapid time variability of GRB prompt emission, blazars and the Crab nebula.
Numerical Simulations of Driven Supersonic Relativistic MHD Turbulence
Jonathan Zrake,Andrew MacFadyen
Physics , 2011, DOI: 10.1063/1.3621748
Abstract: Models for GRB outflows invoke turbulence in relativistically hot magnetized fluids. In order to investigate these conditions we have performed high-resolution three-dimensional numerical simulations of relativistic magneto-hydrodynamical (RMHD) turbulence. We find that magnetic energy is amplified to several percent of the total energy density by turbulent twisting and folding of magnetic field lines. Values of epsilon_B near 1% are thus naturally expected. We study the dependence of saturated magnetic field energy fraction as a function of Mach number and relativistic temperature. We then present power spectra of the turbulent kinetic and magnetic energies. We also present solenoidal (curl-like) and dilatational (divergence-like) power spectra of kinetic energy. We propose that relativistic effects introduce novel couplings between these spectral components. The case we explore in most detail is for equal amounts of thermal and rest mass energy, corresponding to conditions after collisions of shells with relative Lorentz factors of several. These conditions are relevant in models for internal shocks, for the late afterglow phase, for cocoon material along the edge of a relativistic jet as it propagates through a star, as well neutron stars merging with each other and with black hole companions. We find that relativistic turbulence decays extremely quickly, on a sound crossing time of an eddy. Models invoking sustained relativistic turbulence to explain variability in GRB prompt emission are thus strongly disfavored unless a persistant driving of the turbulence is maintained for the duration of the prompt emission.
Numerical Simulations of Driven Relativistic MHD Turbulence
Jonathan Zrake,Andrew MacFadyen
Physics , 2011, DOI: 10.1088/0004-637X/744/1/32
Abstract: A wide variety of astrophysical phenomena involve the flow of turbulent magnetized gas with relativistic velocity or energy density. Examples include gamma-ray bursts, active galactic nuclei, pulsars, magnetars, micro-quasars, merging neutron stars, X-ray binaries, some supernovae, and the early universe. In order to elucidate the basic properties of the relativistic magnetohydrodynamical (RMHD) turbulence present in these systems, we present results from numerical simulations of fully developed driven turbulence in a relativistically warm, weakly magnetized and mildly compressible ideal fluid. We have evolved the RMHD equations for many dynamical times on a uniform grid with 1024^3 zones using a high order Godunov code. We observe the growth of magnetic energy from a seed field through saturation at about 1% of the total fluid energy. We compute the power spectrum of velocity and density-weighted velocity and conclude that the inertial scaling is consistent with a slope of -5/3. We compute the longitudinal and transverse velocity structure functions of order p up to 11, and discuss their possible deviation from the expected scaling for non-relativistic media. We also compute the scale-dependent distortion of coherent velocity structures with respect to the local magnetic field, finding a weaker scale dependence than is expected for incompressible non-relativistic flows with a strong mean field.
Spectral and Intermittency Properties of Relativistic Turbulence
Jonathan Zrake,Andrew MacFadyen
Physics , 2012, DOI: 10.1088/2041-8205/763/1/L12
Abstract: High-resolution numerical simulations are utilized to examine isotropic turbulence in a compressible fluid when long wavelength velocity fluctuations approach light speed. Spectral analysis reveals an inertial sub-range of relativistic motions with a broadly 5/3 index. The use of generalized Lorentz-covariant structure functions based on the four-velocity is proposed. These structure functions extend the She-Leveque model for intermittency into the relativistic regime.
Magnetic energy production by turbulence in binary neutron star mergers
Jonathan Zrake,Andrew I. MacFadyen
Physics , 2013, DOI: 10.1088/2041-8205/769/2/L29
Abstract: The simultaneous detection of electromagnetic and gravitational wave emission from merging neutron star binaries would aid greatly in their discovery and interpretation. By studying turbulent amplification of magnetic fields in local high-resolution simulations of neutron star merger conditions, we demonstrate that magnetar-level (~10^16) G fields are present throughout the merger duration. We find that the small-scale turbulent dynamo converts 60% of the randomized kinetic energy into magnetic fields on a merger time scale. Since turbulent magnetic energy dissipates through reconnection events which accelerate relativistic electrons, turbulence may facilitate the conversion of orbital kinetic energy into radiation. If 10^-4 of the ~ 10^53 erg of orbital kinetic available gets processed through reconnection, and creates radiation in the 15-150 keV band, then the fluence at 200 Mpc would be 10^-7 erg/cm^2, potentially rendering most merging neutron stars in the advanced LIGO and Virgo detection volumes detectable by Swift BAT.
Freely decaying turbulence in force-free electrodynamics
Jonathan Zrake,William E. East
Physics , 2015,
Abstract: Freely decaying relativistic force-free turbulence is studied for the first time. We initiate the magnetic field at a short wavelength and simulate its relaxation toward equilibrium on two and three dimensional periodic domains, in both helical and non-helical settings. Force-free turbulent relaxation is found to exhibit an inverse cascade in all settings, and in 3D to have a magnetic energy spectrum consistent with the Kolmogorov $5/3$ power law. 3D relaxations also obey the Taylor hypothesis; they settle promptly into the lowest energy configuration allowed by conservation of the total magnetic helicity. But in 2D, the relaxed state is a force-free equilibrium whose energy greatly exceeds the Taylor minimum, and which contains persistent force-free current layers and isolated flux tubes. We explain this behavior in terms of additional topological invariants that exist only in two dimensions, namely the helicity enclosed within each level surface of the magnetic potential function. The speed and completeness of turbulent magnetic free energy discharge could help account for rapidly variable gamma-ray emission from the Crab Nebula, gamma-ray bursts, blazars, and radio galaxies.
Freely decaying turbulence in force-free electrodynamics
Jonathan Zrake,William E. East
Physics , 2015,
Abstract: Freely decaying relativistic force-free turbulence is studied for the first time. We initiate the magnetic field at a short wavelength and simulate its relaxation toward equilibrium on two and three dimensional periodic domains, in both helical and non-helical settings. Force-free turbulent relaxation is found to exhibit an inverse cascade in all settings, and in 3D to have a magnetic energy spectrum consistent with the Kolmogorov $5/3$ power law. 3D relaxations also obey the Taylor hypothesis; they settle promptly into the lowest energy configuration allowed by conservation of the total magnetic helicity. But in 2D, the relaxed state is a force-free equilibrium whose energy greatly exceeds the Taylor minimum, and which contains persistent force-free current layers and isolated flux tubes. We explain this behavior in terms of additional topological invariants that exist only in two dimensions, namely the helicity enclosed within each level surface of the magnetic potential function. The speed and completeness of turbulent magnetic free energy discharge could help account for rapidly variable gamma-ray emission from the Crab Nebula, gamma-ray bursts, blazars, and radio galaxies.
Magnetic Field Generation in Stars
Lilia Ferrario,Andrew Melatos,Jonathan Zrake
Physics , 2015, DOI: 10.1007/s11214-015-0138-y
Abstract: Enormous progress has been made on observing stellar magnetism in stars from the main sequence through to compact objects. Recent data have thrown into sharper relief the vexed question of the origin of stellar magnetic fields, which remains one of the main unanswered questions in astrophysics. In this chapter we review recent work in this area of research. In particular, we look at the fossil field hypothesis which links magnetism in compact stars to magnetism in main sequence and pre-main sequence stars and we consider why its feasibility has now been questioned particularly in the context of highly magnetic white dwarfs. We also review the fossil versus dynamo debate in the context of neutron stars and the roles played by key physical processes such as buoyancy, helicity, and superfluid turbulence,in the generation and stability of neutron star fields. Independent information on the internal magnetic field of neutron stars will come from future gravitational wave detections. Thus we maybe at the dawn of a new era of exciting discoveries in compact star magnetism driven by the opening of a new, non-electromagnetic observational window. We also review recent advances in the theory and computation of magnetohydrodynamic turbulence as it applies to stellar magnetism and dynamo theory. These advances offer insight into the action of stellar dynamos as well as processes whichcontrol the diffusive magnetic flux transport in stars.
Spontaneous decay of periodic magnetostatic equilibria
William E. East,Jonathan Zrake,Yajie Yuan,Roger D. Blandford
Physics , 2015, DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.115.095002
Abstract: In order to understand the conditions which lead a highly magnetized, relativistic plasma to become unstable, and in such cases how the plasma evolves, we study a prototypical class of magnetostatic equilibria where the magnetic field satisfies $\nabla \times\mathbf B = \alpha \mathbf B$, where $\alpha$ is spatially uniform, on a periodic domain. Using numerical solutions we show that generic examples of such equilibria are unstable to ideal modes (including incompressible ones) which are marked by exponential growth in the linear phase. We characterize the unstable mode, showing how it can be understood in terms of merging magnetic and current structures, and explicitly demonstrate its instability using the energy principle. Following the nonlinear evolution of these solutions, we find that they rapidly develop regions with relativistic velocities and electric fields of comparable magnitude to the magnetic field, liberating magnetic energy on dynamical timescales and eventually settling into a configuration with the largest allowable wavelength. These properties make such solutions a promising setting for exploring the mechanisms behind extreme cosmic sources of gamma rays.
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