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Session 23 - High Luminosity AGN and QSOs.
Oral session, Monday, June 10
Union Theater,

[23.02] Blazars: The accelerating inner jet model.

M. Georganopoulos, A. P. Marscher (Boston Univ.)

The standard interpretation of the nonthermal continuum radiation of blazars from radio to \gamma-rays is thought to be synchrotron and inverse Compton radiation from a relativistic jet. The inner jet of a blazar is the section of the jet that connects the central engine with the VLBI core of the radio jet. This is a small (\la 1 pc) region where the jet is formed, collimated and accelerated to speeds close to that of light. In the accelerating inner jet model ultrarelativistic plasma is generated continuously near the central engine of the AGN and is accelerated hydrodynamically. An external hydrostatic and/or magnetohydrodynamic pressure collimates the flow.

In this work a simple relativistic hydrodynamic scheme that produces a simultaneously accelerating and converging flow is coupled with a detailed calculation of the evolution of the electron energy distribution and synchrotron emissivity due to relativistic electrons radiating in a mostly random magnetic field. Higher frequency radiation emanates from smaller distances from the central engine, implying shorter flux variation timescales at higher frequencies, as observed. The velocity of the jet increases with distance; this implies larger Doppler boosting for greater distances down the jet up to the point where the Lorentz factor \Gamma \la \theta^-1 , where \theta is the angle between the velocity vector and the line of sight, and therefore at lower frequencies. This can explain some of the differences between RBLs and XBLs as a line-of-sight orientation effect. A square density wave is propagated with the jet velocity and the variability thus induced is studied, taking into account time delay effects. The model is found to agree qualitatively with the observed steady state spectra as well as with the observed variability properties of BL Lac objects.

Program listing for Monday