Neutron beams in active galactic nuclei Academic Article uri icon


  • ELECTRODYNAMIC processes may be responsible for both the creation and acceleration of charged particles near condensed objects. For pulsars1–3, the strong magnetic fields associated with the spinning neutron star generate substantial electric fields which may, in turn, create electron–positron pairs. In some models3 the escaping ultrarelativistic positrons create further pairs by curvature radiation, and can explain many features of the pulsar radiation. Models for double radio sources have also been proposed, where a magnetised rotator, say a spinar4 or the magnetised accretion disk around a supermassive black hole5–7, accelerates5,6 and possibly creates7 relativistic charged particles. Theories invoking an aligned rotator also provide a natural way of creating well collimated supersonic beams at very small distances from the powerhouse, obviating the need for hydrodynamic confinement by flattened gas clouds7,8. We propose here a variation of this idea in which high energy beams of neutrons can be used to transport energy to relatively large distances from an active central powerhouse assuming that electromagnetic acceleration mechanisms are important. Decay back into charged particles allows radiation to recommence further away from such a generator than in other models.

publication date

  • January 1, 1978

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