EDP Sciences
Free access
Volume 382, Number 2, February I 2002
Page(s) 722 - 729
Section Physical and chemical processes
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1051/0004-6361:20011664

A&A 382, 722-729 (2002)
DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361:20011664

Radiative processes in the intracluster plasma

N. Itoh1, T. Sakamoto1, S. Kusano1, Y. Kawana1 and S. Nozawa2

1  Department of Physics, Sophia University, 7-1 Kioi-cho, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, 102-8554, Japan
    e-mail: n_itoh@hoffman.cc.sophia.ac.jp; t-sakamo@hoffman.cc.sophia.ac.jp; s-kusano@hoffman.cc.sophia.ac.jp; y-kawana@hoffman.cc.sophia.ac.jp
2  Josai Junior College for Women, 1-1 Keyakidai, Sakado-shi, Saitama, 350-0290, Japan
    e-mail: snozawa@josai.ac.jp

(Received 6 June 2001 / Accepted 7 November 2001 )

We present useful analytic fitting formulae for the study of the radiative processes which take place in the hot intracluster plasma (the plasma which exists in the clusters of galaxies). The first is for the frequency-integrated emissivity of the relativistic thermal bremsstrahlung. The Gaunt factor for the relativistic thermal bremsstrahlung as a function of the ionic charge $Z_{\rm j}$, the electron temperature $T_{\rm e}$, and the photon frequency $\omega$ has been recently calculated by us and its analytic fitting formula has been presented. In this paper we will integrate this Gaunt factor over the photon frequency $\omega$ and express the results by accurate analytic fitting formulae. These results will be useful when one wishes to evaluate the total amount of energy emitted by the hot intracluster plasma as well as other hot plasmas that exist in supernova remnants. The present results for the frequency-integrated emissivity of the thermal bremsstrahlung generally have accuracy of the order of 0.1%, thus making the present results the most accurate to date that calculate the thermal bremsstrahlung due to electron-ion scattering. The present accurate results will be especially useful for the analysis of the precision data taken by the Chandra X-Ray Observatory and XMM-Newton. The second analytic fitting formula that we will present in this paper is for the thermal Sunyaev-Zeldovich effect for clusters of galaxies. The thermal Sunyaev-Zeldovich effect for clusters of galaxies has been recently calculated with high precision by the present authors as well as by other groups. We have, in particular, presented an analytic fitting formula for this effect. In this paper we will present an analytic fitting formula which has still higher accuracy. The present fitting formula will be particularly suited for the forthcoming measurements of the kinematical Sunyaev-Zeldovich effect such as the BOLOCAM project that will be carried out in the crossover frequency region where the thermal Sunyaev-Zeldovich signal changes from negative to positive sign.

Key words: galaxies: clusters: general -- plasmas -- radiation mechanisms thermal -- relativity -- cosmic microwave background -- cosmology: theory

Offprint request: N. Itoh, n_itoh@hoffman.cc.sophia.ac.jp

© ESO 2002