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  1. Free, publicly-accessible full text available June 1, 2025
  2. Free, publicly-accessible full text available January 1, 2025
  3. Abstract

    An electron-positron cascade in the magnetospheres of Kerr black holes (BHs) is a fundamental ingredient to fueling the relativisticγ-ray jets seen at the polar regions of galactic supermassive BHs (SMBHs). This leptonic cascade occurs in thespark gapregion of a BH magnetosphere where the unscreened electric field parallel to the magnetic field is present; hence, it is affected by the magnetic field structure. A previous study explored the case of a thin accretion disk, representative of active galactic nuclei. Here we explore the case of a quasi-spherical gas distribution, as is expected to be present around the SMBH Sgr A* in the center of our Milky Way galaxy, for example. The properties and efficiency of the leptonic cascade are studied. The findings of our study and the implications for SMBH systems in various spectral and accretion states are discussed. The relationships and scalings derived from varying the mass of the BH and background photon spectra are further used to analyze the leptonic cascade process to power jets seen in astronomical observations. In particular, one finds the efficiency of the cascade in a quasi-spherical gas distribution peaks at the jet axis. Observationally, this should lead to a more prominent jet core, in contrast to the thin disk accretion case, where it peaks around the jet–disk interface. One also finds the spectrum of the background photons plays a key role. The cascade efficiency is maximum for a spectral index of 2, while harder and softer spectra lead to a less efficient cascade.

     
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  4. Ultra-magnetized plasmas, where the magnetic field strength exceeds the Schwinger field of about BQ≈4×1013 G, become of great scientific interest, thanks to the current advances in laser-plasma experiments and astrophysical observations of magnetar emission. These advances demand better understanding of how quantum electrodynamics (QED) effects influence collective plasma phenomena. In particular, Maxwell's equations become nonlinear in the strong-QED regime. Here we present the “QED plasma framework,” which will allow one to systematically explore collective phenomena in a QED-plasma with arbitrary strong magnetic field. Further, we illustrate the framework by exploring low-frequency modes in the ultra-magnetized, cold, electron-positron plasmas. We demonstrate that the classical picture of five branches holds in the QED regime; no new eigenmodes appear. The dispersion curves of all the modes are modified. The QED effects include the overall modification to the plasma frequency, which becomes field-dependent. They also modify resonances and cutoffs of the modes, which become both field- and angle-dependent. The strongest effects are (i) the field-induced transparency of plasma for the O-mode via the dramatic reduction of the low-frequency cutoff well below the plasma frequency, (ii) the Alfvén mode suppression in the large-k regime via the reduction of the Alfvén mode resonance, and (iii) the O-mode slowdown via strong angle-dependent increase in the index of refraction. These results should be important for understanding of a magnetospheric pair plasma of a magnetar and for laboratory laser-plasma experiments in the QED regime.

     
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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available September 1, 2024
  5. ABSTRACT

    We present a new suite of over 1500 cosmological N-body simulations with varied warm dark matter (WDM) models ranging from 2.5 to 30 keV. We use these simulations to train Convolutional Neural Networks (CNNs) to infer WDM particle masses from images of DM field data. Our fiducial setup can make accurate predictions of the WDM particle mass up to 7.5 keV with an uncertainty of ±0.5 keV at a 95 per cent confidence level from (25 h−1Mpc)2 maps. We vary the image resolution, simulation resolution, redshift, and cosmology of our fiducial setup to better understand how our model is making predictions. Using these variations, we find that our models are most dependent on simulation resolution, minimally dependent on image resolution, not systematically dependent on redshift, and robust to varied cosmologies. We also find that an important feature to distinguish between WDM models is present with a linear size between 100 and 200 h−1 kpc. We compare our fiducial model to one trained on the power spectrum alone and find that our field-level model can make two times more precise predictions and can make accurate predictions to two times as massive WDM particle masses when used on the same data. Overall, we find that the field-level data can be used to accurately differentiate between WDM models and contain more information than is captured by the power spectrum. This technique can be extended to more complex DM models and opens up new opportunities to explore alternative DM models in a cosmological environment.

     
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  6. ABSTRACT A possibility of DM being multicomponent has a strong implication on resolving decades-long known cosmological problems on small scale. In addition to elastic scattering, the model allows for inelastic interactions, which can be characterized by a ‘velocity kick’ parameter. The simplest 2cDM model with cross-section $0.01\lesssim \sigma /m\lt 1\, \textrm {cm}^{2}{ \rm g}^{-1}$ and the kick velocity $V_{\mathrm{ k}}\simeq 100\, \rm {km\, s}^{-1}$ have been shown to robustly resolve the missing satellites, core-cusp, and too-big-to-fail problems in N-body cosmological simulations tested on Milky Way (MW)-like haloes of a virial mass ${\sim}5 \times 10^{11}\, {\rm M_{\odot }}$ (Papers I & II). With the aim of further constraining the parameter space available for the 2cDM model, we extend our analysis to dwarf and galaxy cluster haloes with their virial mass of ∼107−108 and ${\sim}10^{13} - 10^{14}\, {\rm M_{\odot }}$, respectively. We find that σ0/m ≳ 0.1 cm2g−1 is preferentially disfavoured for both dwarfs and galaxy cluster haloes in comparison with observations, while σ0/m = 0.001 cm2g−1 causes little perceptible difference from that of the CDM counterpart for most of the cross-section’s velocity dependence studied in this work. Our main result is that within the reasonable set of parameters, the 2cDM model can successfully explain the observational trends seen in dwarf galaxy and galaxy cluster haloes, and the model leaves us an open window for other possible alternative DM models. 
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  7. Abstract

    In a collisionless plasma, the energy distribution function of plasma particles can be strongly affected by turbulence. In particular, it can develop a nonthermal power-law tail at high energies. We argue that turbulence with initially relativistically strong magnetic perturbations (magnetization parameterσ≫ 1) quickly evolves into a state with ultrarelativistic plasma temperature but mildly relativistic turbulent fluctuations. We present a phenomenological and numerical study suggesting that in this case, the exponentαin the power-law particle-energy distribution function,f(γ)dγγαdγ, depends on magnetic compressibility of turbulence. Our analytic prediction for the scaling exponentαis in good agreement with the numerical results.

     
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  8. The Cosmic Ray Extremely Distributed Observatory (CREDO) pursues a global research strategy dedicated to the search for correlated cosmic rays, so-called Cosmic Ray Ensembles (CRE). Its general approach to CRE detection does not involve any a priori considerations, and its search strategy encompasses both spatial and temporal correlations, on different scales. Here we search for time clustering of the cosmic ray events collected with a small sea-level extensive air shower array at the University of Adelaide. The array consists of seven one-square-metre scintillators enclosing an area of 10 m × 19 m. It has a threshold energy ~0.1 PeV, and records cosmic ray showers at a rate of ~6 mHz. We have examined event arrival times over a period of over 2.5 years in two equipment configurations (without and with GPS timing), recording ~300 k events and ~100 k events. We determined the event time spacing distributions between individual events and the distributions of time periods which contained specific numbers of multiple events. We find that the overall time distributions are as expected for random events. The distribution which was chosen a priori for particular study was for time periods covering five events (four spacings). Overall, these distributions fit closely with expectation, but there are two outliers of short burst periods in data for each configuration. One of these outliers contains eight events within 48 s. The physical characteristics of the array will be discussed together with the analysis procedure, including a comparison between the observed time distributions and expectation based on randomly arriving events. 
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