8th HEAD Meeting, 8-11 September, 2004
Session 2 Galaxy Clusters and the Intergalactic Medium
Poster, Wednesday, September 8, 2004, 9:00am-10:00pm

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[2.18] Interactions between Radio Sources and the Intracluster Medium

L. Birzan, D. A. Rafferty, B. R. McNamara (Ohio University), C. L. Carilli (NRAO), M. W. Wise (MIT/CSR), P. E. J. Nulsen (Harvard-Smithsonian CfA)

We investigate the interaction between relativistic plasma in radio sources and thermal gas in clusters using a sample of 16 galaxy clusters, one galaxy and one group from the Chandra X-ray Observatory's data archive. These systems possess prominent X-ray surface brightness depressions associated with cavities or bubbles that were created by interactions between powerful radio sources and the surrounding hot gas. We find a trend between the radio luminosity and mechanical luminosity, with the sense that more luminous radio sources tend toward larger mechanical luminosities. Furthermore, we attempt to determine the degree of coupling between the mechanical (kinetic) luminosity of radio sources and their synchrotron luminosity. We found that the ratio of mechanical energy to radio power ranges from a few to a few hundred for the powerful sources, which is broadly consistent with theoretical estimates, but we expect this ratio to increase once the energy dissipated in shocks is tallied. We intend to refine our work by creating a homogeneous radio sample. We report preliminary results from a radio study of the clusters in our sample, in which we calculate synchrotron ages and minimum total energies in order to constrain the magnetic field strengths and to determine whether equipartition applies.

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Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 36 #3
© 2004. The American Astronomical Soceity.