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Title: Blazar jets launched with similar energy per baryon, independently of their power
ABSTRACT The most extreme active galactic nuclei are the radio active ones whose relativistic jet propagates close to our line of sight. These objects were first classified according to their emission-line features into flat-spectrum radio quasars (FSRQs) and BL Lacertae objects (BL Lacs). More recently, observations revealed a trend between these objects known as the blazar sequence, along with an anticorrelation between the observed power and the frequency of the synchrotron peak. In this work, we propose a fairly simple idea that could account for the whole blazar population: all jets are launched with similar energy per baryon, independently of their power. In the case of FSRQs, the most powerful jets manage to accelerate to high-bulk Lorentz factors, as observed in the radio. As a result, they have a rather modest magnetization in the emission region, resulting in magnetic reconnection injecting a steep particle–energy distribution and, consequently, steep emission spectra in the γ-rays. For the weaker jets, namely BL Lacs, the opposite holds true; i.e. the jet does not achieve a very high bulk Lorentz factor, leading to more magnetic energy available for non-thermal particle acceleration, and harder emission spectra at frequencies ≳ GeV. In this scenario, we recover all more » observable properties of blazars with our simulations, including the blazar sequence for models with mild baryon loading (50 ≲ μ ≲ 80). This interpretation of the blazar population therefore tightly constrains the energy per baryon of blazar jets regardless of their accretion rate. « less
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Award ID(s):
1910451 1816136
Publication Date:
Journal Name:
Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Page Range or eLocation-ID:
4092 to 4102
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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