Journal Article

Coulomb interactions in the intracluster medium

S. Ettori and A. C. Fabian

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

Published on behalf of The Royal Astronomical Society

Volume 293, issue 1, pages L33-L36
Published in print January 1998 | ISSN: 0035-8711
Published online January 1998 | e-ISSN: 1365-2966 | DOI:
Coulomb interactions in the intracluster medium

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In this paper we discuss the effect of Coulomb collisions on the temperature profiles of the intracluster medium in clusters of galaxies, motivated by recent reports of negative temperature gradients in some clusters by Markevitch et al. The time-scale for electrons and protons to reach temperature equilibrium can exceed a few ×109 years beyond radii of a megaparsec, if the intracluster gas is assumed to be at the usual cluster virial temperature. If a cluster merger has occurred within that time causing the protons, but not the electrons, to be rapidly heated then a small negative temperature gradient can result. This gradient is larger in clusters with higher temperatures and steeper density profiles.

Applying these considerations to the cluster of galaxies A2163, we conclude that, more plausibly, the observed gradient is due to a lack of hydrostatic equilibrium following a merger.

Keywords: galaxies: clusters: general; galaxies: clusters: individual: A2163; X-rays: galaxies

Journal Article.  0 words. 

Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics

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