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Sci Rep. 2017 Dec 5;7(1):16918. doi: 10.1038/s41598-017-17104-8.

Relativistic inverse Compton scattering of photons from the early universe.

Author information

1
Centre of Astronomy, Indian Institute of Technology Indore, Simrol, Khandwa Road, Indore, 453552, India. siddharth@iiti.ac.in.
2
Centre of Astronomy, Indian Institute of Technology Indore, Simrol, Khandwa Road, Indore, 453552, India.
3
Center for Astrophysics and Space Astronomy, Department of Astrophysical and Planetary Science, University of Colorado, Boulder, CO, 80309, USA.
4
School of Physics, University of the Witwatersrand, Private Bag 3, WITS-2050, Johannesburg, South Africa.
5
Raman Research Institute, CV Raman Avenue, Bangalore, 560080, India.
6
Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Homi Bhabha Road, Mumbai, 400005, India.
7
Australia Telescope National Facility, CSIRO Astronomy and Space Science, P.O. Box 76, Epping, NSW 1710, Australia.

Abstract

Electrons at relativistic speeds, diffusing in magnetic fields, cause copious emission at radio frequencies in both clusters of galaxies and radio galaxies through non-thermal radiation emission called synchrotron. However, the total power radiated through this mechanism is ill constrained, as the lower limit of the electron energy distribution, or low-energy cutoffs, for radio emission in galaxy clusters and radio galaxies, have not yet been determined. This lower limit, parametrized by the lower limit of the electron momentum - pmin - is critical for estimating the total energetics of non-thermal electrons produced by cluster mergers or injected by radio galaxy jets, which impacts the formation of large-scale structure in the universe, as well as the evolution of local structures inside galaxy clusters. The total pressure due to the relativistic, non-thermal population of electrons can be measured using the Sunyaev-Zel'dovich Effect, and is critically dependent on pmin, making the measurement of this non-thermal pressure a promising technique to estimate the electron low-energy cutoff. We present here the first unambiguous detection of this Sunyaev-Zel'dovich Effect for a non-thermal population of electrons in a radio galaxy jet/lobe, located at a significant distance away from the center of the Bullet cluster of galaxies.

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