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A. M. Koekemoer (STScI)
I discuss results from detailed hydrodynamic modelling of radio galaxy propagation and interaction with the ambient medium, with specific emphasis on the evolution of the kinematic structure in the expanding radio cocoon. The gas dynamics provide a useful diagnostic of the properties of the ambient medium, allowing the models to be compared directly with observations of line-emitting gas associated with the lobes of radio sources. Specifically, combining observed excitation diagnostics with high-dispersion kinematic data allows investigation of the amount of kinetic energy that is transferred from the radio plasma to the surrounding gas, thereby yielding constraints on the properties of the jets and the overall evolution of the radio source. The implications are discussed in the context of the effects of the environment on the general evolution of radio galaxies, together with the reciprocal impact of radio sources upon their environments.
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