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Title:Polarized synchrotron emission and absorption coefficients for thermal, nonthermal, and kappa electron distributions
Author(s):Pandya, Alexander A
Contributor(s):Gammie, Charles F.
Abstract:Astrophysical plasmas play a role in many of the most interesting systems in the universe they swirl around black holes at tremendous speeds, compose the solar wind, and even produce auroras in planetary magnetospheres. All of these plasmas emit light via the process of synchrotron radiation, which results when relativistic electrons orbit around magnetic field lines. For this project, I have written a novel code named symphony to calculate polarized emission and absorption coefficients for a plasma with a general gyrotropic electron energy distribution. This code was used to study three electron distributions in particular: a relativistic thermal (Maxwell- Jttner) distribution, a nonthermal power law distribution, and the so-called kappa distribution, which has thermal behavior at low energy and power law behavior at high energy. The kappa distribution merits attention because it fits many of the observed properties of well-studied space plasmas, such as the solar wind. Using symphony we also produced approximate fitting formulae to the polarized emission and absorption coefficients for the three distributions studied. These fitting formulae may be of use to those involved in modeling astrophysical plasmas because these simulations are often constrained by computation time, and the fitting formulae allow for rapid evaluation of synchrotron emission and absorption.
Issue Date:2016
Citation Info:Pandya, Alexander A (2016, April). Polarized synchrotron emission and absorption coefficients for thermal, nonthermal, and kappa electron distributions. Poster session presented at Undergraduate Research Symposium, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Illinois.
Genre:Conference Poster
Sponsor:NSF grant AST-1333612
Rights Information:Copyright 2016, Pandya
Date Available in IDEALS:2016-04-28

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