Collimation and Stability of Three Dimensional Jets

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Session 80 -- AGN and Jets
Display presentation, Friday, January 14, 9:30-6:45, Salons I/II Room (Crystal Gateway)

[80.02] Collimation and Stability of Three Dimensional Jets

P.E. Hardee (U. Alabama), D.A. Clarke (St. Mary's U.), D.A. Howell (U. Florida)

Three-dimensional numerical simulations of cylindrical jets established in equilibrium with a surrounding uniform medium have been performed. Large scale structures such as helical twisting of the jet, elliptical distortion and bifurcation of the jet, and triangular distortion and trifurcation of the jet have been seen in the simulations. The grid resolution has been sufficient to allow the development of structures on smaller scales and has revealed higher order distortions of the jet surface and complex structure internal to the jet. However, smaller scale surface distortion and internal jet structure do not significantly modify the large scale dynamics. It is the large scale surface distortions and accompanying filamentation that dominate the jet dynamics. Decollimation occurs as the jet bifucates or trifurcates. Jets with density less than the immediately surrounding medium rapidly decollimate and expand as the jet filaments into multiple streams leading to shock heating and mass entrainment. The resulting morphology resembles a turbulent plume and might be relevant to some FRI type radio sources. Jet densities higher than the immediately surrounding medium are required to produce FRII type radio source jet morphology and protostellar jet morphology. Thus, while jets may be denser or lighter than the external medium through which they propagate, it is the conditions in the cocoon or lobe around the jet that governs the dynamics far behind the jet front. This work was supported by NSF grant AST-8919180, EPSCoR grant EHR-9108761 and NSF-REU grant AST-9300413.

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