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Search Results: 1 - 10 of 3265 matches for " Roland Crocker "
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A New Lower Limit to the Galactic Centre's Magnetic Field
Roland M. Crocker
Physics , 2010,
Abstract: The amplitude of the magnetic field surrounding the Galactic Centre (GC) on large scales (> 100 pc) has been uncertain by two orders of magnitude for several decades: different analyses report fields as weak as ~6 microG on the one hand and 1 mG on the other. Here I report on our recent work which shows that the field on 400 pc scales has a firm lower limit of about 50 microG. To obtain this result we compiled existing (mostly single dish) radio data to construct the spectrum of the GC region on these size scales. This spectrum is a broken power law with a down-break (most conservatively) attributable to a transition from bremsstrahlung to synchrotron cooling of the in-situ cosmic-ray electron population. The lower limit on the magnetic field arises through the consideration that the synchrotron-emitting electrons should not produce too much gamma-ray emission given existing constraints from the EGRET instrument.
Galactic centre star formation writ large in gamma-rays
Roland M. Crocker
Physics , 2011,
Abstract: We have modelled the high-energy astrophysics of the inner 200 pc of the Galaxy with a view to explaining the diffuse, broad-band (radio continuum to TeV gamma-ray), non-thermal signal detected from this region. Our modelling pins down the ISM parameters for the environment wherein cosmic ray (CR) electrons and ions reside in the Galactic centre (GC). We find that the magnetic field in this region is 100-300 microG, the gas density < 60 cm^-3, and that a powerful (> 200 km/s) 'super'-wind acts to remove > 95% of the cosmic rays accelerated in the region before they have time to lose their energy in situ. The ~ 10^39 erg/s carried away by the GC cosmic ray protons is precisely enough to energise the ~GeV gamma-ray emission from the Fermi 'bubbles' recently found to extend north and south of the GC out to distances of ~10 kpc, provided that the bubbles constitute thick targets to the GC protons and that the situation has reached steady state. In such a situation of 'saturation' the hard, uniform spectrum of the bubbles are explained and secondary electron synchrotron explains the non-thermal microwave emission found in WMAP data mirroring the bubbles. Given the very low density of the bubble plasma (<0.01 cm^-3), the pp loss time in the Bubbles is > 5 Gyr. Our scenario thus has the startling implication that a GC source of nonthermal particles of time-averaged power 10^39 erg/s has persisted since the youth of the Galaxy.
Non-Thermal Radiation from the Inner Galaxy
Roland M. Crocker
Physics , 2014,
Abstract: I review our current state of knowledge about non-thermal radiation from the Galactic Centre (GC) and Inner Galaxy. Definitionally, the Galactic nucleus is at the bottom of the Galaxy's gravitational well, rendering it a promising region to seek the signatures of dark matter decay or annihilation. It also hosts, however, the Milky Way's resident supermassive black hole and up to 10% of current massive star formation in the Galaxy. Thus the Galactic nucleus is a dynamic and highly-energized environment implying that extreme caution must be exercised in interpreting any unusual or unexpected signal from (or emerging from) the region as evidence for dark matter-related processes. One spectacular example of an `unexpected' signal is the discovery within the last few years of the `Fermi Bubbles' and, subsequently, their polarised radio counterparts. These giant lobes extend ~7 kpc from the nucleus into both north and south Galactic hemispheres. Hard-spectrum, microwave emission coincident with the lower reaches of the Bubbles has also been detected, first in WMAP, and more recently in Planck data. Debate continues as to the origin of the Bubbles and their multi-wavelength emissions: are they the signatures of relatively recent (in the last ~Myr) activity of the supermassive black hole or, alternatively, nuclear star formation? I will briefly review evidence that points to the latter interpretation.
The Galactic Centre - A Laboratory for Starburst Galaxies (?)
Roland M. Crocker
Physics , 2011, DOI: 10.1017/S1743921312009441
Abstract: The Galactic centre - as the closest galactic nucleus - holds both intrinsic interest and possibly represents a useful analogue to star-burst nuclei which we can observe with orders of magnitude finer detail than these external systems. The environmental conditions in the GC - here taken to mean the inner 200 pc in diameter of the Milky Way - are extreme with respect to those typically encountered in the Galactic disk. The energy densities of the various GC ISM components are typically ~two orders of magnitude larger than those found locally and the star-formation rate density ~three orders of magnitude larger. Unusually within the Galaxy, the Galactic centre exhibits hard-spectrum, diffuse TeV (=10^12 eV) gamma-ray emission spatially coincident with the region's molecular gas. Recently the nuclei of local star-burst galaxies NGC 253 and M82 have also been detected in gamma-rays of such energies. We have embarked on an extended campaign of modelling the broadband (radio continuum to TeV gamma-ray), non- thermal signals received from the inner 200 pc of the Galaxy. On the basis of this modelling we find that star-formation and associated supernova activity is the ultimate driver of the region's non-thermal activity. This activity drives a large-scale wind of hot plasma and cosmic rays out of the GC. The wind advects the locally-accelerated cosmic rays quickly, before they can lose much energy in situ or penetrate into the densest molecular gas cores where star-formation occurs. The cosmic rays can, however, heat/ionize the lower density/warm H2 phase enveloping the cores. On very large scales (~10 kpc) the non-thermal signature of the escaping GC cosmic rays has probably been detected recently as the spectacular 'Fermi bubbles' and corresponding 'WMAP haze'.
Non-Thermal Insights on Mass and Energy Flows Through the Galactic Centre and into the Fermi Bubbles
Roland M. Crocker
Physics , 2011, DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2966.2012.21149.x
Abstract: We construct a simple model of the star-formation- (and resultant supernova-) driven mass and energy flows through the inner ~200 pc (in diameter) of the Galaxy. Our modelling is constrained, in particular, by the non-thermal radio continuum and {\gamma}-ray signals detected from the region. The modelling points to a current star-formation rate of 0.04 - 0.12 M\msun/year at 2{\sigma} confidence within the region with best-fit value in the range 0.08 - 0.12 M\msun/year which - if sustained over 10 Gyr - would fill out the ~ 10^9 M\msun stellar population of the nuclear bulge. Mass is being accreted on to the Galactic centre (GC) region at a rate ~0.3M\msun/year. The region's star-formation activity drives an outflow of plasma, cosmic rays, and entrained, cooler gas. Neither the plasma nor the entrained gas reaches the gravitational escape speed, however, and all this material fountains back on to the inner Galaxy. The system we model can naturally account for the recently-observed ~> 10^6 'halo' of molecular gas surrounding the Central Molecular Zone out to 100-200 pc heights. The injection of cooler, high-metallicity material into the Galactic halo above the GC may catalyse the subsequent cooling and condensation of hot plasma out of this region and explain the presence of relatively pristine, nuclear-unprocessed gas in the GC. The plasma outflow from the GC reaches a height of a few kpc and is compellingly related to the recently-discovered Fermi Bubbles. Our modelling demonstrates that ~ 10^9 M\msun of hot gas is processed through the GC over 10 Gyr. We speculate that the continual star-formation in the GC over the age of the Milky Way has kept the SMBH in a quiescent state thus preventing it from significantly heating the coronal gas, allowing for the continual accretion of gas on to the disk and the sustenance of star formation on much wider scales in the Galaxy [abridged].
The Fermi Bubbles: Giant, Multi-Billion-Year-Old Reservoirs of Galactic Center Cosmic Rays
Roland M. Crocker,Felix Aharonian
Physics , 2010, DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.106.101102
Abstract: Recently evidence has emerged for enormous features in the gamma-ray sky observed by the Fermi-LAT instrument: bilateral `bubbles' of emission centered on the core of the Galaxy and extending to around 10 kpc above and below the Galactic plane. These structures are coincident with a non-thermal microwave `haze' found in WMAP data and an extended region of X-ray emission detected by ROSAT. The bubbles' gamma-ray emission is characterised by a hard and relatively uniform spectrum, relatively uniform intensity, and an overall luminosity ~4 x 10^37 erg/s, around one order of magnitude larger than their microwave luminosity while more than order of magnitude less than their X-ray luminosity. Here we show that the bubbles are naturally explained as due to a population of relic cosmic ray protons and heavier ions injected by processes associated with extremely long timescale (>~8 Gyr) and high areal density star-formation in the Galactic center.
Neutrino Interferometry In Curved Spacetime
Roland M. Crocker,Carlo Giunti,and Daniel J. Mortlock
Physics , 2003, DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevD.69.063008
Abstract: Gravitational lensing introduces the possibility of multiple (macroscopic) paths from an astrophysical neutrino source to a detector. Such a multiplicity of paths can allow for quantum mechanical interference to take place that is qualitatively different to neutrino oscillations in flat space. After an illustrative example clarifying some under-appreciated subtleties of the phase calculation, we derive the form of the quantum mechanical phase for a neutrino mass eigenstate propagating non-radially through a Schwarzschild metric. We subsequently determine the form of the interference pattern seen at a detector. We show that the neutrino signal from a supernova could exhibit the interference effects we discuss were it lensed by an object in a suitable mass range. We finally conclude, however, that -- given current neutrino detector technology -- the probability of such lensing occurring for a (neutrino-detectable) supernova is tiny in the immediate future.
Cosmic-Ray Models of the Ridge-Like Excess of Gamma Rays in the Galactic Center
Oscar Macias,Chris Gordon,Roland Crocker,Stefano Profumo
Physics , 2014, DOI: 10.1093/mnras/stv1002
Abstract: The High-Energy Stereoscopic System (HESS) has detected diffuse TeV emission correlated with the distribution of molecular gas along the Ridge at the Galactic Center. Diffuse, non-thermal emission is also seen by the Fermi large area telescope (Fermi-LAT) in the GeV range and by radio telescopes in the GHz range. Additionally, there is a distinct, spherically symmetric excess of gamma rays seen by Fermi-LAT in the GeV range. A cosmic ray flare, occurring in the Galactic Center, $10^4$ years ago has been proposed to explain the TeV Ridge. An alternative, steady-state model explaining all three data sets (TeV, GeV, and radio) invokes purely leptonic processes. We show that the flare model from the Galactic Center also provides an acceptable fit to the GeV and radio data, provided the diffusion coefficient is energy independent. However, if Kolmogorov-type turbulence is assumed for the diffusion coefficient, we find that two flares are needed, one for the TeV data (occurring approximately $10^4 $ years ago) and an older one for the GeV data (approximately $10^5$ years old). We find that the flare models we investigate do not fit the spherically symmetric GeV excess as well as the usual generalized Navarro-Frenk-White spatial profile, but are better suited to explaining the Ridge. We also show that a range of single-zone, steady-state models are able to explain all three spectral data sets. Large gas densities equal to the volumetric average in the region can be accommodated by an energy independent diffusion or streaming based steady-state model. Additionally, we investigate how the flare and steady-state models may be distinguished with future gamma-ray data looking for a spatial dependence of the gamma-ray spectral index.
Discovering Long Wavelength Neutrino Oscillations in the Distorted Neutrino Spectrum of Galactic Supernova Remnants
Roland M. Crocker,Fulvio Melia,Raymond R. Volkas
Physics , 2001, DOI: 10.1086/340278
Abstract: We investigate the muon neutrino event rate in km$^3$ neutrino telescopes due to a number of galactic supernova remnants expected on the basis of these objects' known $\gamma$-ray signals. We evaluate the potential of these neutrino signals to exhibit evidence of the sub-dominant neutrino oscillations expected in various neutrino mixing schemes including pseudo-Dirac scenarios and the Exact Parity Model. With ten years' data, neutrino signals from Sgr A East should either discover or exclude neutrino oscillations governed by a $\delta m^2$ parameter in the range $10^{-12}$ to $10^{-15}$ eV$^2$. Such a capability is not available to terrestrial or solar system neutrino experiments.
The Fermi Bubbles Revisited
Rui-zhi Yang,Felix Aharonian,Roland Crocker
Physics , 2014, DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361/201423562
Abstract: We analyze 60 months of all sky data from the Fermi-LAT. The Fermi Bubble structures discovered previously are clearly revealed by our analysis. With more data and, consequently, better statistics we can now divide each bubble into constant longitude slices to investigate their gross $\gamma$-ray spectral morphology. While the detailed spectral behaviour of each slice derived within our analysis is somewhat dependent on the assumed background model, we find, robustly, a relative deficit of the flux at low energies (i.e., hardening) towards the top of the South Bubble. In neither Bubble does the spectrum soften with longitude. The morphology of the Fermi Bubbles is also revealed to be energy dependent: at high energies they are more extended. We conclude from the gamma-ray spectrum at high latitudes that a low energy break in the parent cosmic ray population is required in both leptonic and hadronic models. We briefly discuss possible leptonic and hadronic interpretation of this phenomenology.
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