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Journal Article

Automatic quenching of high-energy gamma-ray sources by synchrotron photons

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Stawarz,  Lukasz
Division Prof. Dr. Werner Hofmann, MPI for Nuclear Physics, Max Planck Society;

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Kirk,  John
Division Prof. Dr. Werner Hofmann, MPI for Nuclear Physics, Max Planck Society;

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Citation

Stawarz, L., & Kirk, J. (2007). Automatic quenching of high-energy gamma-ray sources by synchrotron photons. Astrophysical Journal, 661, L17-L20. Retrieved from http://www.journals.uchicago.edu/ApJ/journal/issues/ApJL/v661n1/21475/21475.html.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-0011-7D84-B
Abstract
We investigate a magnetized plasma in which injected high energy gamma-rays annihilate on a soft photon field, that is provided by the synchrotron radiation of the created pairs. For a very wide range of magnetic fields, this process involves gamma-rays between 0.3 GeV and 30 TeV. We derive a simple dynamical system for this process, analyze its stability to runaway production of soft photons and paris, and find conditions for it to automatically quench by eaching a steady state with an optical depth to hoton-photon annihilation larger than unity. We discuss applications to broad-band gamma-ray emitters, in particular supermassive black holes. Automatic quenching limits the gamma-ray luminosity of these objects and predicts substantial pair loading of the jets of less active sources.