Acceleration of ultra-high-energy cosmic rays in the colliding shells of blazars and gamma-ray bursts: Constraints from the Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope

Charles D. Dermer, Soebur Razzaque

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

59 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope measurements of spectra, variability timescales, and maximum photon energies give lower limits to the apparent jet powers and, through γ γ opacity arguments, the bulkLorentz factors of relativistic jets. The maximum cosmic-ray particle energy is limited by these two quantities in Fermi acceleration scenarios. Recent data are used to constrain the maximum energies of cosmic-ray protons and Fe nuclei accelerated in colliding shells of gamma-ray bursts (GRBs) and blazars. The Fermi results indicate that Fe rather than protons are more likely to be accelerated to ultra-high energies in active galactic nuclei (AGNs), whereas powerful GRBs can accelerate both protons and Fe to ≥1020 eV. Emissivity of nonthermal radiation from radio galaxies and blazars is estimated from the First Fermi AGN Catalog, and shown to favor BL Lac objects and FR1 radio galaxies over flat spectrum radio quasars, FR2 radio galaxies, and long-duration GRBs as the sources of ultra-high-energy cosmic rays.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1366-1372
Number of pages7
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Volume724
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2010
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Cosmic rays
  • Galaxies: active
  • Galaxies: jets
  • Gamma rays: galaxies
  • Radiation mechanisms: non-thermal
  • Shock waves

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science

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