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Cluster magnetic fields from large-scale structure and galaxy cluster shocks

Medvedev, Mikhail V. and Silva, Luis O. and Kamionkowski, Marc (2006) Cluster magnetic fields from large-scale structure and galaxy cluster shocks. Astrophysical Journal, 646 (1). L1-L4. ISSN 0004-637X.

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The origin of the microgauss magnetic fields in galaxy clusters is one of the outstanding problems of modern cosmology. We have performed three-dimensional particle-in-cell simulations of the nonrelativistic Weibel instability in an electron-proton plasma, in conditions typical of cosmological shocks. These simulations indicate that cluster fields could have been produced by shocks propagating through the intergalactic medium during the formation of large-scale structure or by shocks within the cluster. The strengths of the shock-generated fields range from a few nanogauss in the intercluster medium to a fraction of a microgauss inside galaxy clusters. Further amplification of these fields by sheared turbulent motions and gas accretion in clusters may be expected. Thus, cluster fields may be explained without resorting to the amplification of a primordial field.

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Kamionkowski, Marc0000-0001-7018-2055
Additional Information:© 2006. The American Astronomical Society. Received 2006 February 5; accepted 2006 March 23; published 2006 April 11. L.O.S. acknowledges the help of Michael Marti in performing the simulations and M. Tzonfres, M. Marti, and Professors Ricardo Fonseca and Warren Mori for discussions. M.K. acknowledges useful discussions with X. Chen, E. Nakar, and M. Milosavljevic. The simulations were performed in the eXpp cluster at IST, Lisbon. The work of M.V.M. has been supported by DoE grant DE-FG02-04ER54790, NASA grant NNG-04GM41G, and the GRF fund. The work of L.O.S. was partially supported by the FCT (Portugal) through grants PDCT/FP/FAT/50190/2003 and POCI/FIS/55905/2004. M.K. was supported by DoE grant DE-FG03-92-ER40701 and NASA grant NNG05GF69G.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Department of Energy (DOE)DE-FG02-04ER54790
Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia (FCT)PDCT/FP/FAT/50190/2003
Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia (FCT)POCI/FIS/55905/2004
Department of Energy (DOE)DE-FG03-92-ER40701
Subject Keywords:galaxy clusters; large-scale structure of universe; magnetic fields; plasmas; shock waves; turbulence
Issue or Number:1
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:MEDapj06
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Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:5105
Deposited By: Lindsay Cleary
Deposited On:01 Oct 2006
Last Modified:02 Oct 2019 23:19

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