Parameter Correlations and Cosmological Properties of BL Lac Objects

Source: arXiv

ABSTRACT Using three complete, radio flux limited, blazar samples we compare the LogN-LogS and the preliminary radio luminosity function of the general population of BL Lacs to those of the subclass of high energy synchrotron peaked (HBL) BL Lacs. We also examine recent results on the cosmological evolution in different samples of BL Lacs and we investigate the controversial issue of the correlation between the synchrotron peak frequency and radio luminosity in BL Lacertae objects. We find that the fraction of HBL objects is approximately the same at all observed radio fluxes and luminosities implying that there cannot be any strong correlation between the position of the synchrotron peak and radio luminosity. The amount of cosmological evolution in BL Lacs is confirmed to be low and negative at low radio fluxes, although the large number of objects without redshift prevents a precise estimation. At high radio fluxes the amount of cosmological evolution is zero or slightly positive but this could be induced by a possible contamination with Flat Spectrum Radio Quasars.

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    ABSTRACT: The blazar sequence is reflected in a correlation of the peak luminosity versus peak frequency of the synchrotron component of blazars. This correlation has been considered one of the fundamental pieces of evidence for the existence of a continuous sequence that includes low-power BL Lacertae objects through high-power flat spectrum radio quasars. A correlation between the Compton domi- nance, the ratio of the Compton to synchrotron luminosities, and the peak synchrotron frequency is another piece of evidence for the existence of the blazar sequence explored by Fossati et al. (1998). Since that time, however, it has essentially been ignored. We explore this correlation with a sample based on the second LAT AGN catalog (2LAC), and show that is is particularly important, since it is independent of redshift. We reproduce the trends in our sample with a simple model that in- cludes synchrotron and Compton cooling in the slow- and fast-cooling regimes, and angle-dependent effects.
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    ABSTRACT: Does the "blazar sequence" exist, or is it a result of a selection effect, due to the difficulty in measuring the redshifts of blazars with both high synchrotron peak frequencies (\gtrsim 10^{15} Hz) and luminosities (\gtrsim 10^{46} erg s^{-1})? We explore this question with a sample of blazars from the Second Catalog of Active Galactic Nuclei (AGN) from the Fermi Large Area Telescope (LAT). The Compton dominance, the ratio of the peak of the Compton to the synchrotron peak luminosities, is essentially a redshift-independent quantity, and thus crucial to answering this question. We find that a correlation exists between Compton dominance and the peak frequency of the synchrotron component for all blazars in the sample, including ones with unknown redshift. We then construct a simple model to explain the blazar properties in our sample, where the difference between sources is due to only the magnetic field of the blazar jet emitting region, the external radiation field energy density, and the jet angle to the line of sight, with the magnetic field strength and external energy density being correlated. This model can reproduce the trends of the blazars in the sample, and predicts blazars may be discovered in the future with high synchrotron peak frequencies and luminosities. At the same time the simple model reproduces the lack of high-synchrotron peaked blazars with high Compton dominances (\gtrsim 1).
    The Astrophysical Journal 12/2012; 763(2). · 6.73 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Blazars are the most plentiful gamma-ray source at GeV energies, and despite detailed study, there is much that is not known about these sources. In this review I explore some recent results on blazars, including the controversy of the "blazar sequence", the curvature in the LAT spectra, and the location along the jet of the gamma-ray emitting region. I conclude with a discussion of alternative modeling possibilities.

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Jun 4, 2014