Academy of Ad Hoc Apologies Heidelburg Institute of Theoretical Studies via physorg.com comes news that long standing problems with Big Bang cosmology have been solved by a supercomputer simulation model. Scientists are “surprised” by the match between their simulation of the imaginary heating effect of the emission of gamma rays from ‘black holes’ (Earth directed ones have been named ‘Blazars’) and the observed spectra of quasars.
Physorg takes up the story:
Every galaxy hosts a supermassive black hole at its center. Such black holes can emit high-energy gamma rays and are then called blazars. Whereas other radiation such as visible light and radio waves traverses the universe without problems, this is not the case for high-energy gamma rays. This particular radiation interacts with the optical light that is emitted by galaxies, transforming it into the elementary particles electrons and positrons. Initially, these elementary particles move almost at the speed of light. But as they are slowed down by the ambient diffuse gas, their energy is converted into heat, just like in other braking processes. As a result, the surrounding gas is heated efficiently. In fact, the temperature of the gas at mean density becomes ten times higher, and in underdense regions more than one hundred times higher than previously thought. If the gas becomes hotter, weak [spectral] lines in the forest [in the spectra of quasars] are broadened. This effect represents an excellent opportunity to measure temperatures in the early Universe, while it was still growing up.
This allows us to elegantly solve a long-standing problem with the quasar data
says Dr. Ewald Puchwein, who conducted the large simulations on the supercomputer at HITS.
Prof. Volker Springel, scientific group leader at HITS, explains:
The process of blazar heating is especially exciting since this single effect is able to simultaneously solve several different puzzles in cosmological structure formation.
The group plans to further improve their simulation models for a still deeper understanding of the nature of blazar heating and its implications for today’s Universe.
Read the full story (I use the word advisedly) here.
The results have just been published in The Astrophysical Journal and Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. (So it must be true), and the details are found in the following papers:
The Lyman-alpha forest in a blazar-heated Universe. E. Puchwein, C. Pfrommer, V. Springel, A. E. Broderick, and P. Chang, 2012, MNRAS, in print, arXiv:1107.3837
The Cosmological Impact of Luminous TeV Blazars III: Implications for Galaxy Clusters and the Formation of Dwarf Galaxies. C. Pfrommer, P. Chang, and A. E. Broderick, 2012, ApJ, in print, arXiv:1106.5505 http://arxiv.org/abs/1106.5505
The Cosmological Impact of Luminous TeV Blazars II: Rewriting the Thermal History of the Intergalactic Medium. P. Chang, A. E. Broderick, and C. Pfrommer, 2012, ApJ, in print, arXiv:1106.5504 http://arxiv.org/abs/1106.5504
The Cosmological Impact of Luminous TeV Blazars I: Implications of Plasma Instabilities for the Intergalactic Magnetic Field and Extragalactic Gamma-Ray Background. A. E. Broderick, P. Chang, and C. Pfrommer, 2012, ApJ, in print, arXiv:1106.5494 http://arxiv.org/abs/1106.5494