Adaptive Mesh Refinement Simulations of Cosmic Rays in Galaxy Clusters

Samuel Skillman, University of Colorado at Boulder

Photo of Samuel Skillman

Galaxy clusters are unique astrophysical laboratories that contain many thermal and nonthermal phenomena. In particular, they are hosts to cosmic shocks, which propagate through the intracluster medium as a signature of structure formation. It is believed that at these shock fronts, magnetic field inhomogeneities in a compressing flow may lead to the acceleration of cosmic ray electrons and ions. These relativistic particles decay and radiate through a variety of mechanisms, and have observational signatures in radio, hard X-ray, and gamma-ray wavelengths. Modeling these dynamics requires a combination of cosmological hydrodynamics coupled with a model to follow the momentum-space distribution of cosmic ray electrons and protons. I will present my dissertation work combining Enzo, an Adaptive Mesh Refinement hydrodynamics + N-body particle-mesh gravity solver, with a numerical library for cosmic ray transport. I then use these to produce simulated radio observations.

Abstract Author(s): Samuel W. Skillman