Volume 569, September 2014
|Number of page(s)||15|
|Section||Cosmology (including clusters of galaxies)|
|Published online||25 September 2014|
The relation between gas density and velocity power spectra in galaxy clusters: High-resolution hydrodynamic simulations and the role of conduction
Max Planck Institute for Astrophysics,
2 Space Research Institute (IKI), Profsoyuznaya 84/32, 117997 Moscow, Russia
3 Department of Physics, Yale University, New Haven CT 06520, USA
4 Yale Center for Astronomy and Astrophysics, Yale University, New Haven CT 06520, USA
5 Kavli Institute for Particle Astrophysics and Cosmology, Stanford University, 452 Lomita Mall, Stanford CA 94305-4085, USA
6 Department of Physics, Stanford University, 382 via Pueblo Mall, Stanford CA 94305-4060, USA
Accepted: 4 July 2014
Exploring the power spectrum of fluctuations and velocities in the intracluster medium (ICM) can help us to probe the gas physics of galaxy clusters. Using high-resolution 3D plasma simulations, we study the statistics of the velocity field and its intimate relation with the ICM thermodynamic perturbations. The normalization of the ICM spectrum (related to density, entropy, or pressure fluctuations) is linearly tied to the level of large-scale motions, which excite both gravity and sound waves due to stratification. For a low 3D Mach number M ~ 0.25, gravity waves mainly drive entropy perturbations, which are traced by preferentially tangential turbulence. For M> 0.5, sound waves start to significantly contribute and pass the leading role to compressive pressure fluctuations, which are associated with isotropic (or slightly radial) turbulence. Density and temperature fluctuations are then characterized by the dominant process: isobaric (low M), adiabatic (high M), or isothermal (strong conduction). Most clusters reside in the intermediate regime, showing a mixture of gravity and sound waves, hence drifting toward isotropic velocities. Remarkably, regardless of the regime, the variance of density perturbations is comparable to the 1D Mach number, M1D ~ δρ/ρ. This linear relation allows us to easily convert between gas motions and ICM perturbations (δρ/ρ< 1), which can be exploited by the available Chandra, XMM data and by the forthcoming Astro-H mission. At intermediate and small scales (10–100 kpc), the turbulent velocities develop a tight Kolmogorov cascade. The thermodynamic perturbations (which can be generally described by log-normal distributions) act as effective tracers of the velocity field, in broad agreement with the Kolmogorov-Obukhov-Corrsin advection theory. The cluster radial gradients and compressive features induce a flattening in the cascade of the perturbations. Thermal conduction, on the other hand, acts to damp the thermodynamic fluctuations, washing out the filamentary structures and steepening the spectrum, while leaving the velocity cascade unaltered. The ratio of the velocity and density spectrum thus inverts the downtrend shown by the non-diffusive models, as it widens up to ~5. This new key diagnostic can robustly probe the presence of conductivity in the ICM. We produce X-ray images of the velocity field, showing how future missions (e.g. Astro-H, Athena) can detect velocity dispersions of a few 100 km s-1 (M> 0.1 in massive clusters), allowing us to calibrate the linear relation and to constrain relative perturbations down to just a few percent.
Key words: galaxies: clusters: intracluster medium / hydrodynamics / turbulence / conduction / methods: numerical / X-rays: galaxies: clusters
© ESO, 2014
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