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Session 22 - Radio - Loud AGN & Extragalactic Jets.
Display session, Wednesday, January 07
Exhibit Hall,

[22.06] Lepton Acceleration By Relativistic Collisionless B-Field Reconnection

D. A. Larabee (East Stroudsburg Univ.), R. V. E. Lovelace (Cornell Univ.)

We have calculated self-consistent equilibria of a relativistic electron-positron gas in the vicinity of a magnetic X point. For the considered conditions, pertinent to extra-galactic jets, we find that leptons are accelerated to Lorentz factors \gamma = \cal O(10^3). This acceleration is due to the dominance of the electric field over the magnetic field in a small region around the X point. The distribution of the number of particles in the current layer versus gamma is given. The location of the peak current is governed by the location of the surface where E/B is approximately 1. Higher currents create a plateau in the magnetic field, creating a region where E/B is approximately unity. Simulations suggest that a higher peak Lorentz factors \gamma can be obtained with smaller total currents. The higher current causes an increased paramagnetic field within the layer, resulting in the particles spending less time in the region of low magnetic field, and thus failing to achieve as high a gamma. In the low current limit the maximum achieved gamma of an energetic particle (one starting sufficiently near the magnetic field null) is shown to scale with the applied electric field squared.

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