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Acoustic waves and g-mode turbulence as energy carriers in a viscous intracluster medium

Atmospheric wave dynamics in the simulations of Choudhury & Reynolds (2022, arXiv:2202.05289)

Published onMar 01, 2022
Acoustic waves and g-mode turbulence as energy carriers in a viscous intracluster medium

This video briefly describes the work in Choudhury & Reynolds (2022) [1]. Many recent works on the observed galaxy clusters in the X-rays highlight broadly two classes of exclusive energy carriers—sound waves and turbulence. In order to understand this dichotomy, we design an idealized three-dimensional hydrodynamic simulation of a cluster, to assess which of these carriers can dissipate energy in and around the core (\gtrsim100 kpc). Specifically, we explore how gentle (long-duration outbursts) and intermediate (shorter duration outbursts) feedback modes can function efficiently mediated by compressible (sound waves) and incompressible (g-modes/instabilities/turbulence) disturbances. Since g-modes are confined tightly to the central core, we attempt to maximise the flux of fast sound waves to distribute the feedback energy over a large distance. We find that the contribution to heat dissipation from sound and turbulence varies on the basis of the aforementioned feedback modes, namely: turbulence contributes relatively more than sound in the slow-piston regime and vice versa for the intermediate regime. For the first time in a 3D simulation, we show that up to ~20% of the injected power can be carried away by sound flux in the intermediate feedback but it reduces to ~12% in the slow-piston regime. Lastly, we find that sound waves can be elusive if we deduce the equation-of-state (isobaric/isentropic) of the fluctuations from X-ray observations.

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