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Session 53 - The X Clusters: Cooling Flows.
Display session, Thursday, January 08
Exhibit Hall,

[53.09] Magnetohydrodynamics in Merging Clusters of Galaxies

K. Roettiger (GSFC/NAS-NRC), J. M. Stone (UMD)

We present preliminary results from 3-dimensional numerical Magnetohydrodynamical/N-body simulations of merging clusters of galaxies. Considerable observational evidence now exists for dynamically significant magnetic fields in the intracluster medium (ICM). Such fields could provide a component of nonthermal pressure support in cluster cores resulting in an underestimation of X-ray based cluster mass determinations. In addition, high quality radio observations have confirmed the existence of large-scale (0.5 Mpc) synchrotron halos in several clusters indicating the presence not only of an extended magnetic field distribution but also a spatially extended population of relativistic particles. It has been suggested that magnetic fields within the ICM are maintained by turbulence. Our previous hydrodynamic simulations of merging clusters of galaxies show mergers to be a significant source of turbulence, and consequently, they may play an important role in the amplification of magnetic fields in the ICM. Similarly, mergers may play a role in the turbulent acceleration of relativistic particles. This study focuses specifically on the evolution of the cluster-wide magnetic fields as a function of linear scale within the merger environment. We also address the importance of numerical resolution effects.

Program listing for Thursday