Volume 437, Number 3, July III 2005
|Page(s)||L39 - L42|
|Published online||30 June 2005|
Letter to the Editor
Tidal acceleration of ultrarelativistic particles
Department of Mathematics, University of Missouri-Columbia, Columbia, Missouri 65211, USA
2 Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Missouri-Columbia, Columbia, Missouri 65211, USA e-mail: MashhoonB@missouri.edu
Accepted: 27 May 2005
We investigate the motion of free relativistic particles relative to the ambient medium around a gravitationally collapsed system. If the relative speed exceeds a critical value given by , the gravitational tidal effects exhibit novel features that are contrary to Newtonian expectations. In particular, ultrarelativistic jet clumps moving freely outward along the rotation axis strongly decelerate with respect to the ambient medium, while ultrarelativistic particles strongly accelerate in directions normal to the jet axis. The implications of these direct consequences of general relativity for jets in microquasars and the origin of the high-energy cosmic rays are briefly mentioned.
Key words: gravitation / acceleration of particles / black hole physics
© ESO, 2005
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