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Cyclotron & Synchrotron

Radiation
Rybicki & Lightman
Chapter 6

Cyclotron and Synchrotron Radiation
Charged particles are accelerated by B-fields  radiation
“magnetobremsstrahlung”
Cyclotron Radiation
non-relativistic particles
frequency of emission = frequency of gyration
Synchrotron Radiation
relativistic particles
frequency of emission
from a single particle
 emission at a range
of frequencies

Astronomical Examples:
(1) Galactic and extragalactic non-thermal radio and X-ray emission
Supernova remnants, radio galaxies, jets
(2) Transient solar events, Jovian radio emission

Synchrotron emission:
reveals presence of B-field, direction
Allows estimates of energy content of particles
Spectrum  energy distribution of electrons
Jet production in many different contexts

Equation of motion for a single electron:
Recall

 E / c
p    
 p 

Relativistic equation
of motion

4-momentum

dp
m0 a 
d

d
 0
dt

so

see Eqn. 4.82-4.84

 q 
d  d
p   mv   v  B
dt
dt
c
 
d
d
2
E
mc  qv  E  0
dt
dt

or
  constant
v  constant

(1)

and  v  v|| is a constant. normal to B   0  v||  constant  dv  q    v  B dt mc Since  v is a constant. is a constant . parallel to B   v   vel.(2) Let  v  d v|| dt be divided into   v||  vel.

uniform circular motion in plane perpendicular to B field .uniform velocity along the field line (4) The frequency of rotation or gyration is eB B  mc Remember cyclotron eB  mc so (Larmor frequency) cyclotron B   .(3) Result: Helical motion .

E  10GeV  R  1014 cm  7 AU small on cosmic scales . the Larmor frequency is  cyclotron = 2. Numerically.8 B1G  MHz Radius of the orbit R v  cyclotron E1GeV  10 cm B1G 7 Typical values: B  10 6 G .

6  10 15  2 2 B 2 ergs/s . In our case. the acceleration is perpendicular to the velocity:   dv q   a   v  B dt mc So a   B v  e2 write r0  m c 2 e v   c classical electron radius and 2q 2 4 q 2 B 2  2 P  3  2 2 2 v 3c  mc P  r c 2 2 B 2 2 2 3 o  1.Total Emitted Power Recall For single electron  2q 2 4 2 P  3  a   2 a||2 3c  perpendicular. parallel acceleration in frame where the electron is instantaneously at rest.

mono-energetic velocity distribution of electrons: i. all electrons have the same velocity v. r  r  −1 β ⋅ β    cos β2 P Then  2 So α = ∫   r c B  2 2 3 0  2 dΩ(β sinα) ∫ dΩ 2 β2 = 4π 2 2 2 0 3 2 ∫ 2  2 β 8π 2 2 dΩsin 2 α = = β 4π 3 3 P = ( ) r cβ 2γ2 B 2 per particle  or P  1.110 15  2 2 B 2 erg/s per electron .Average over an isotropic. but random pitch angle with respect to the B field.e.

magnetic energy density  B P ~ 1.Write it another way where 4 2 2 P   T c  U B 3 8 r02 T  3 Thomson cross-section B2 UB  8 For β1.6 10   8 2 2  2 E   eV / sec   2    me c  .

4 yr  P B E  G  .Life time of particle of energy E is 2 t1/ 2  B  E 1     2  16.

when the core of the beam (of half-width 1/γ) is pointed at your line of sight: .Spectrum of Synchrotron Radiation -Qualitative Discussion The spectrum of synchrotron radiation is related to the Fourier transform of the time-varying electric field. the observer sees radiation only for a short time. Because of beaming.

you see a narrow pulse of E-field  expect spectrum to be broad in frequency .e.The result is that E(t) is “pulsed” i.

It is straight-forward to show (R&L p. angle v makes wrt B . 169-173) that the width of the pulse of E(t) is 1 t  3   B sin  A where gyro frequency of eB B   particle in field mc     pitch angle.

cutting off at frequencies >> ωC .Define CRITICAL FREQUENCY 3 3 C    B sin  2 or 3 3 C    B sin  4 Spectrum is broad.

For the highly relativistic case. one can show that the spectrum for a single particle: 3 e 3 B sin      P( )  F  2 2 mc  C  Where F is a dimensionless function which looks like: .

Transition from Cyclotron to Synchrotron Emission β<<1 “CYCLOTRON”  a to observer eB B  mc .

Slightly faster  .

β ~ 1 Highly relativistic  a to observer .

the observed spectra for synchrotron sources are power laws s P ( )   where s = spectral index at least over some particular range of frequencies ω Example: on the Rayleigh-Jeans tail of a blackbody spectrum s = -2 .Spectral Index for Power-Law Electron Distribution Often.

with energies between E.. particularly at high velocities e. “Fermi acceleration” Maxwell-Boltzman distribution “Non-thermal” tail of particle velocities v Let N(E) = # particles per vol.A number of particle acceleration processes yield a power-law energy distribution for the particles. E+dE N ( E )dE  CE  p dE Power-law p = spectral index C = constant .g.

Turns out that there is a VERY simple relation between p = spectral index of particle energies and s = spectral index of observed radiation .

with energy E (1) Power/particle with energy E. E ) E1 # particles /Vol. emitted at frequency ω where E1 and E2 define the range over which the power law holds.p = spectral index of particle energies and s = spectral index of observed radiation Since E  mc 2 p N ( E )dE  CE dE can be written E2 N ( )d  C  p d PTotal ( )   dE N ( E ) P ( . .

in terms of γ 2 PTotal ( )   d N ( ) P ( .Equivalently. change variables by letting  x C where C  critical frequency  32  3 B sin  .  )  F  2 2 mc  C  (3) Inserting (1) and (3) into (2).  ) (2) 1 where 3 e 3 B sin      P( .

Then PTotal   ( p 1) x2  2  dx x ( p 3) 2 F ( x) x1 can approximate x1  0. and particle energy index. s. . x2  ∞ Then the integral is ~constant with ω PTotal ( )   So  ( p 1) 2  s p 1 s 2 Relation between slope of power law of radiation. p.

Polarization of Synchrotron Radiation First. consider a single radiating charge  elliptically polarized radiation Observer The cone of radiation  projects onto an ellipse on the plane of the sky Major axis is perpendicular to the projection of B on the sky .

per cent polarization p 1  p  73 • Linear polarization is perpendicular to direction of B .• Ensemble of emitters with different α  emission cones from each side of line of sight cancel  partial linear polarization • Frequency integrated polarization can be as high as 75% • For a power-law distribution of energies.

A straight-forward calculation involving Einstein A’s and B’s (R&L pp. 186-190) yields the absorption coefficient for synchrotron self-absorption for a power-law distribution of electrons p /2 ⎛   ⎞   3e 3e ( p +2) / 2 ⎛ 3p + 2 ⎞  ⎛ 3p + 22 ⎞  −( p +4 ) / 2   C ( B sinα) Γ⎜  ⎜  ⎟Γ   ⎜  ⎟ν  3 5 ⎟    ⎝  12 ⎠  ⎝  12 ⎠  8πm ⎝2πm c ⎠  3   gamma function .Synchrotron Self-Absorption Photon interacts with a charge in a magnetic field and is absorbed. giving up its energy to the charge Can also have stimulated emission: a particle is induced to emit more strongly in a direction and at a frequency at which there are already photons present.

The Source function is simpler: j S   P ( )  4  5 / 2 • Independent of p • •  5/ 2 spectrum  dead give-away that synchrotron self-abs. is what is going on 5  2 which is the Rayleigh-Jeans value 2 .

Summary: For optically thin emission For optically thick I     I  S    ( p 1) / 2 5 / 2  Low-frequency cut-off   ( p 1) / 2 Thick Thin .

. SNe. Sources in Milky Way are pulsars.Synchrotron Radio Sources Map of sky at 408 MHz (20 cm).

The nebula is roughly 10 lightyears across. or a pulsar is this wind which energizes the nebula. The supernova explosion left behind a rapidly spinning neutron star. observed as a "guest star" by ancient Chinese astronomers. and causes it to emit the radio waves which formed this image. and it is at a distance of about 6. It is presently expanding at about 1000 km per second.000 light years from earth. from NRAO web site . Radio emission of M1 = Crab Nebula.Crab Nebula The Crab Nebula. is the remnant of a supernova in 1054 AD.

IR Optical Radio X-ray (Chandra) .

897 Synchrotron Synchrotron Self-Compton .Crab Nebula Spectral Energy Distribution from Radio to TeV gamma rays see Aharonian+ 2004 ApJ 614.

 sec.4x1013 2.0x108 109.4x1015 0.4 Gamma Ray 1x1022 1. (eV) Electron lifetime (Yr) Radio (0.0x1011 109 X-ray (4 keV) 1x1018 1.Synchrotron Lifetimes.024 = 9 days 5.5 GHz) 5x108 3. for Crab Nebula Photon frequency (Hz) Electron Energy U.000 Optical (6000A) 5x1014 3.16 1   2   electron decay time.  B γ π for α = .B in teslas 2 Timescales << age of Crab Pulsar is Replenishing energy .

Guess what this is an image of? .

Extragalactic radio sources: Very isotropic distribution on the sky 6cm radio sources right ascension Milky Way North Galactic Pole .

Blowup of North Pole .

7-1.VLA Core of jets: flat spectrum s=0 to .2 .3 Extended lobes: steep spectrum s = 0.

II (Fanaroff & Riley 1974 MNRAS 167 31P) FRI: Low luminosity edge dark Ex.FR I vs. FR II On large scales (>15 kpc) radio sources divide into Fanaroff-Riley Class I. Cygnus A .:Cen-A FRII: High luminosity hot spots on outer edge Ex.

Lobes are polarized  synchrotron emission with well-ordered B-fields Polarization is perpendicular to B .