Cosmic Rays Help Drive Galactic Winds

Type Conference Paper
Names John Everett, Ellen Zweibel, Quintin Schiller, Kaiqi Hu
Conference Name 38th COSPAR Scientific Assembly
Volume 38
Pages 2608
Date 2010
Library Catalog NASA ADS
Abstract Cosmic rays deposit both momentum and energy into thermal gas when magnetic fields are present (Wentzel, 1968; Kulsrud Pearce, 1969). Since we observe evidence of magnetic fields, cosmic-rays, and hot gas in galactic disks, it is plausible that cosmic rays may add momentum and energy to gas, and therefore help drive galactic-scale outflows. Building on past work by Breitschwerdt, Zirakashvili, Ptuskin, and others, our group investigates "hybrid" galactic winds driven by cosmic-ray and thermal-gas pressure. We have found that such a wind can fit mid-latitude Galactic X-ray emission observed by ROSAT towards the center of the Galaxy, and also (with some physically motivated modifications) fits radio-synchrotron survey data. We are now building estimates of the gamma-ray emission for this wind. So far, we also find that the parameters of such a wind are plausible for the conditions of the central Milky Way. More generally, we illustrate how cosmic-ray driving may increase the prevalance of galactic winds. For this talk, I will review the hydrodynamics of cosmic rays, including the work of other groups on cosmic-ray driven winds. I will highlight how cosmic ray pressure can help drive Galactic winds, how such a wind may work in our Galaxy, and include estimates of the impact of cosmic-ray diffusivity and the driving of cool clouds (observed within extragalactic winds and important to constrain wind velocities) within such a wind.
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