Journal Article

Monte Carlo simulation of electromagnetic cascades in black hole magnetosphere

S. Vincent and S. LeBohec

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

Published on behalf of The Royal Astronomical Society

Volume 409, issue 3, pages 1183-1194
Published in print December 2010 | ISSN: 0035-8711
Published online December 2010 | e-ISSN: 1365-2966 | DOI:
Monte Carlo simulation of electromagnetic cascades in black hole magnetosphere

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The development of pair-photon cascades initiated by high-energy electrons above a spinning supermassive black hole (BH) threaded by magnetic fields is simulated numerically. The calculations use the magnetic field strength, the rotation period of the BH, the energy and the density of the background photons as parameters and follow the synchrotron and inverse Compton radiation emitted by the primary electron, the conversion of this radiation to e+ e pairs in the background photons and the radiation by the pairs over several generations. A Monte Carlo method is used to calculate the γ-ray and pair spectra for cascades in different parts of the magnetosphere. Based on a three-dimensional picture, the modelling of electron and photon trajectories in the vicinity of the BH takes into account the effects of general relativity and the radiation reaction on particle motion. This work is motivated by the recent discovery of very-high-energy processes close to the supermassive BH in active galaxies.

Keywords: black hole physics; radiation mechanisms: non-thermal; methods: numerical

Journal Article.  6005 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics

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