University of Minnesota
School of Physics & Astronomy

Physics and Astronomy Calendar

Friday, December 6th 2019
2:30 pm:
Speaker: Larry Rudnick, University of Minnesota
Subject: The Dance of Two Plasmas: the future of radio galaxy/intracluster medium interactions

It is tempting to look back at 45 years of studying radio galaxies in clusters, but I will limit the nostalgia. What lies ahead, given the explosion of information from new radio surveys by SKA precursors, is much more exciting. The intracluster medium (ICM), carrying most of the cluster baryons, is visible in X-rays and through the Sunyaev-Zeldovich effect. Isolated glimpses of the dynamics of the ICM are visible in the form of contact discontinuities, weak shocks, and other temperature variations. But the tangled and filamentary structure of the frozen-in magnetic fields, and the turbulence on a variety of scales, are elusive. Radio galaxies, with their relativistic plasmas buffeted by the ICM, provide a way of probing those interactions, and I will describe a new schema for exploiting this tool. This new schema requires more sophisticated physical "cartoons", and numerical simulations, as well, so that we can understand the underlying physics. I will show the still-embargoed results from some of the new telescopes, to give a flavor of what's to come.

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