One-zone radiation models have been widely used in modelling the steady-state multiwavelength (MW) spectra of blazars, having as main goal the determination of the physical conditions in the emitting region, such as the magnetic field strength, the species of radiating particles etc. Then, the results from onezone stationary modelling are often used as a stepping stone for studying flaring events. Here we show that the application of steady-state one-zone models on intrinsic variable sources, even when these are in a low state, can be misleading. Although the one-zone SSC and proton synchrotron models succeed in fitting the time-averaged MWspectrum, they cannot easily (or at all) reproduce the small amplitude multifrequency variability.We show that a two-component leptonic model addresses both spectral and temporal observations more successfully, albeit at the expense of more free parameters.
We apply a recently developed time-dependent one-zone leptohadronic model to study the emission of the blazar Mrk 421. Both processes involving proton-photon interactions, i.e. photopair (Bethe-Heitler) and photopion, have been modeled in great detail using the results of Monte Carlo simulations, like the SOPHIA event generator, in a self-consistent scheme that couples energy losses and secondary injection. We find that TeV gamma-rays can be attributed to synchrotron radiation either from relativistic protons or, alternatively, from secondary leptons produced via photohadronic processes. We also study the variability patterns that each scenario predicts and we find that while the former is more energetically favored, it is the latter that produces, in a more natural way, the usual quadratic behavior between X-rays and TeV gamma-rays. We also use the obtained SEDs to calculate in detail the expected neutron and neutrino fluxes that each model predicts.
We investigate the origin of high-energy emission in blazars within the context of the leptohadronic one-zone model. We find that γ-ray emission can be attributed to synchrotron radiation either from protons or from secondary leptons produced via photohadronic processes. These possibilities imply differences not only in the spectral energy distribution (SED) but also in the variability signatures, especially in the X- and γ-ray regime. Thus, the temporal behaviour of each leptohadronic scenario can be used to probe the particle population responsible for the high-energy emission as it can give extra information not available by spectral fits. In this work, we apply these ideas to the non-thermal emission of Mrk 421, which is one of the best monitored TeV blazars. We focus on the observations of 2001 March, since during that period Mrk 421 showed multiple flares that have been observed in detail both in X-rays and γ-rays. First, we obtain pre-flaring fits to the SED using the different types of leptohadronic scenarios. Then, we introduce random-walk-type, small-amplitude variations on the injection compactness or on the maximum energy of radiating particles and follow the subsequent response of the radiated photon spectrum. For each leptohadronic scenario, we calculate the X-ray and γ-ray fluxes and investigate their possible correlation. Whenever the `input' variations lead, apart from flux variability, also to spectral variability, we present the resulting relations between the spectral index and the flux, both in X-rays and γ-rays. We find that proton synchrotron models are favoured energetically but require fine tuning between electron and proton parameters to reproduce the observed quadratic behaviour between X-rays and TeV γ-rays. On the other hand, models based on pion decay can reproduce this behaviour in a much more natural way.
We present the recent photometric monitoring of blazar Mrk421, obtained from the Gerostathopouleio Observatoty at University of Athens. Follow-up observations have been performed on this source after a highly energetic flare which occurred on 13 April, 2013. The flare was observed in X- rays by Nustar & Swift and in GeV - TeV gamma-rays by the Fermi satellite and MAGIC/VERITAS telescopes respectively. Continuous photometric monitoring in the optical BVRI bands during 3 months after the flaring activity reveals a quasi-periodic light variation. This is one of the few times that Mrk 421 was observed for such a long period without large observational gaps. We perform Fourier analysis of the almost uninterrupted 3-months-long dataset in order to get insight on the characteristic timescales of the system. We discuss also possible origins of the optical variability by performing cross-correlation analysis of the optical and of the simultaneous X-ray emission detected with XRT onboard the SWIFT orbital satellite.
We study a mechanism for producing intrinsic broken power-law gamma-ray spectra in compact sources. This is based on the principles of automatic photon quenching, according to which, gammarays are being absorbed on spontaneously produced soft photons, whenever the injected luminosity in gamma-rays lies above a certain critical value. We derive an analytical expression for the critical gamma-ray compactness in the case of power-law injection. For the case where automatic photon quenching is relevant, we calculate analytically the emergent steady-state gamma-ray spectra. We show that a spontaneously quenched power-law gamma-ray spectrum obtains a photon index 3√/2, where √ is the photon index of the power-law at injection. Thus, large spectral breaks of the gammaray photon spectrum, e.g. ƒ√>1, can be obtained by this mechanism. We also discuss additional features of this mechanism that can be tested observationally. Finally, we fit the multiwavelength spectrum of a newly discovered blazar (PKS 0447-439) by using such parameters, as to explain the break in the gamma-ray spectrum by means of spontaneous photon quenching.
Aims: We have studied a mechanism for producing intrinsic broken power-law γ-ray spectra in compact sources. This is based on the principles of automatic photon quenching, according to which γ-rays are being absorbed on spontaneously produced soft photons whenever the injected luminosity in γ-rays lies above a certain critical value. Methods: We derived an analytical expression for the critical γ-ray compactness in the case of power-law injection. For the case where automatic photon quenching is relevant, we calculated analytically the emergent steady-state γ-ray spectra. We also performed numerical calculations in order to back up our analytical results. Results: We show that a spontaneously quenched power-law γ-ray spectrum obtains a photon index 3Γ/2, where Γ is the photon index of the power-law at injection. Thus, large spectral breaks of the γ-ray photon spectrum, e.g. ∆Γ ≳ 1, can be obtained by this mechanism. We also discuss additional features of this mechanism that can be tested observationally. Finally, we fit the multiwavelength spectrum of a newly discovered blazar (PKS 0447-439) by using such parameters to explain the break in the γ-ray spectrum by means of spontaneous photon quenching, under the assumption that its redshift lies in the range 0.1 < z < 0.24.
Department of Physics National and Kapodistrian University of Athens University Campus GR-157 84 Zografou, Athens