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Title: Constraining cosmic ray transport with observations of the circumgalactic medium
ABSTRACT

Recent theoretical studies predict that the circumgalactic medium (CGM) around low-redshift, ∼L* galaxies could have substantial non-thermal pressure support in the form of cosmic rays. However, these predictions are sensitive to the specific model of cosmic ray transport employed, which is theoretically and observationally underconstrained. In this work, we propose a novel observational constraint for calculating the lower limit of the radially averaged, effective cosmic ray transport rate, ${\kappa _{\rm eff}^{\rm min}}$. Under a wide range of assumptions (so long as cosmic rays do not lose a significant fraction of their energy in the galactic disc, regardless of whether the cosmic ray pressure is important or not in the CGM), we demonstrate a well-defined relationship between ${\kappa _{\rm eff}^{\rm min}}$ and three observable galaxy properties: the total hydrogen column density, the average star formation rate, and the gas circular velocity. We use a suite of Feedback in Realistic Environments 2 galaxy simulations with a variety of cosmic ray transport physics to demonstrate that our analytical model of ${\kappa _{\rm eff}^{\rm min}}$ is a robust lower limit of the true cosmic ray transport rate. We then apply our new model to calculate ${\kappa _{\rm eff}^{\rm min}}$ for galaxies in the COS-Halos sample, and confirm this already reveals strong evidence for an effective transport rate that rises rapidly away from the interstellar medium to values ${\kappa _{\rm eff}^{\rm min}}\gtrsim 10^{30\!-\!31}\, {\rm cm}^2\, {\rm s}^{-1}$ (corresponding to anisotropic streaming velocities of $v^{\rm stream}_{\rm eff} \gtrsim 1000\, {\rm km}\, {\rm s}^{-1}$) in the diffuse CGM, at impact parameters larger than 50–100 kpc. We discuss how future observations can provide qualitatively new constraints in our understanding of cosmic rays in the CGM and intergalactic medium.

 
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Award ID(s):
2009234 2108318 1911233
NSF-PAR ID:
10402163
Author(s) / Creator(s):
; ; ; ; ;
Publisher / Repository:
Oxford University Press
Date Published:
Journal Name:
Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Volume:
521
Issue:
2
ISSN:
0035-8711
Format(s):
Medium: X Size: p. 2477-2483
Size(s):
["p. 2477-2483"]
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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