Journal Article

High-resolution 3D relativistic MHD simulations of jets

A. Mignone, P. Rossi, G. Bodo, A. Ferrari and S. Massaglia

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

Published on behalf of The Royal Astronomical Society

Volume 402, issue 1, pages 7-12
Published in print February 2010 | ISSN: 0035-8711
Published online February 2010 | e-ISSN: 1365-2966 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2966.2009.15642.x
High-resolution 3D relativistic MHD simulations of jets

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Relativistic magnetized jets are key elements in active galactic nuclei and in other astrophysical environments. Their structure and evolution involve a complex non-linear physics that can be approached by numerical studies only. Still, owing to a number of challenging computational aspects, only a few numerical investigations have been undertaken so far. In this paper, we present high-resolution three-dimensional numerical simulations of relativistic magnetized jets carrying an initially toroidal magnetic field. The presence of a substantial toroidal component of the field is nowadays commonly invoked and held responsible for the process of jet acceleration and collimation. We find that the typical nose cone structures, commonly observed in axisymmetric two-dimensional simulations, are not produced in the three-dimensional case. Rather, the toroidal field gives rise to strong current-driven kink instabilities leading to jet wiggling. However, it appears to be able to maintain a highly relativistic spine along its full length. By comparing low- and high-resolution simulations, we emphasize the impact of resolution on the jet dynamical properties.

Keywords: instabilities; MHD; relativity; galaxies: jets

Journal Article.  4281 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics

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