Multi-wavelength Behavior of Blazars: Combined Order and Disorder
June 23, 2017
Blazars display behavior that contains both apparently random elements, such as flux variations that follow a red-noise power spectrum, and systematic phenomena like apparent superluminal knots of emission that propagate for some distance down the jet. Models involving turbulent plasma flowing down a relativistic jet, punctuated by standing and moving shocks, show promise in explaining this dichotomy. One such framework, the author's Turbulent, Extreme Multi-Zone (TEMZ) model, produces artificial multi-waveband flux and polarization versus time curves that bear considerable resemblance to data from monitoring studies of blazars. Here the author presents some of these results. Wavelength-dependent optical polarization predicted by the TEMZ model can provide a definitive test of the hypothesis that turbulence is the main cause of rapid fluctuations in blazar emission.
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