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Rutgers University Astrophysics Seminar

Fast and Furious: Magnetic reconnection in relativistic jets and black hole coronae

Relativistic blazar jets and black hole coronae routinely display fast and bright flares of non-thermal emission. By means of fully-kinetic particle-in-cell (PIC) simulations, we show that magnetic reconnection in the relativistic regime appropriate for blazar jets (i.e., at magnetizations sigma>>1) can satisfy all the basic conditions for the emission: extended non-thermal distributions of accelerated particles (with power-law slope between -4 and -1), efficient dissipation and rough equipartition between particles and magnetic field in the emitting region. In addition, we show that ultra-relativistic plasmoids generated by reconnection can power the ultra-fast bright flares observed from a number of TeV blazars. We also discuss electron heating and non-thermal acceleration in the trans-relativistic regime sigma~1 appropriate for the magnetized coronae of collisionless accretion flows, like Sgr A* at the center of our Galaxy.


Lorenzo Sironi

Speaker Affiliation

Columbia University


Natural Sciences


Refreshments to follow in room 332W.

Additional Information

Date & Time
December 06, 2018 | 1:302:30pm


Serin Hall, Room 401