The role of magnetic reconnection on jet/accretion disk systems
Universidade de São Paulo, IAG, Rua do Matão 1226, Cidade Universitária, São Paulo 05508-900, Brazil e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
2 Max Planck Institute for Astrophysics, Karl-Schwarzschild-Str. 1, Postfach 1317, 85741 Garching, Germany
Accepted: 25 April 2010
Context. It was proposed earlier that the relativistic ejections observed in microquasars could be produced by violent magnetic reconnection episodes at the inner disk coronal region (de Gouveia Dal Pino & Lazarian 2005).
Aims. Here we revisit this model, which employs a standard accretion disk description and fast magnetic reconnection theory, and discuss the role of magnetic reconnection and associated heating and particle acceleration in different jet/disk accretion systems, namely young stellar objects (YSOs), microquasars, and active galactic nuclei (AGNs).
Methods. In microquasars and AGNs, violent reconnection episodes between the magnetic field lines of the inner disk region and those that are anchored in the black hole are able to heat the coronal/disk gas and accelerate the plasma to relativistic velocities through a diffusive first-order Fermi-like process within the reconnection site that will produce intermittent relativistic ejections or plasmons.
Results. The resulting power-law electron distribution is compatible with the synchrotron radio spectrum observed during the outbursts of these sources. A diagram of the magnetic energy rate released by violent reconnection as a function of the black hole (BH) mass spanning 109 orders of magnitude shows that the magnetic reconnection power is more than sufficient to explain the observed radio luminosities of the outbursts from microquasars to low luminous AGNs. In addition, the magnetic reconnection events cause the heating of the coronal gas, which can be conducted back to the disk to enhance its thermal soft X-ray emission as observed during outbursts in microquasars. The decay of the hard X-ray emission right after a radio flare could also be explained in this model due to the escape of relativistic electrons with the evolving jet outburst. In the case of YSOs a similar magnetic configuration can be reached that could possibly produce observed X-ray flares in some sources and provide the heating at the jet launching base, but only if violent magnetic reconnection events occur with episodic, very short-duration accretion rates which are ~100–1000 times larger than the typical average accretion rates expected for more evolved (T Tauri) YSOs.
Key words: acceleration of particles / accretion, accretion disks / black hole physics / magnetic fields / galaxies: jets
© ESO, 2010