Synchrotron Aging in Filamented Magnetic Fields
and M.A. Walker2
Abstract: Magnetic fields in synchrotron sources are almost certainly
inhomogeneous mixing high-field and low-field regions. This inhomogeneity
affects the evolution of a relativistic electron distribution function due
to the rate of energy loss of the electrons changing as they move between
the two regions. We present two models for the evolution of the distribution
function, and discuss the results of these models in terms of the critical
energies, or synchrotron frequencies, where the particle and photon spectra
steepen. We find these critical frequencies are higher than would be the
case if the electrons were confined to a homogeneous high-field regions.
We apply our results to the interpretation of extragalactica raido sources
whose dynamical ages are known to be significantly greater than the ages
inferred from their high-frequency spectral breaks.
1Physics Department, New Mexico Tech, Socorro, NM
2RCfTA, Sydney University, Sydney, NSW