On invisible plasma content in radio-loud AGNs: The case of TeV blazar Markarian 421

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Kino, M.
Takahara, F.
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Invisible plasma content in blazar jets such as protons and/or thermal electron-positron ($e^{\pm}$) pairs is explored through combined arguments of dynamical and radiative processes. By comparing physical quantities required by the internal shock model with those obtained through the observed broadband spectra for Mrk 421, we obtain that the ratio of the Lorentz factors of a pair of cold shells resides in about $2\sim 20$, which implies that the shocks are at most mildly relativistic. Using the obtained Lorentz factors, the total mass density $\rho$ in the shocked shells is investigated. The upper limit of $\rho$ is obtained from the condition that thermal bremsstrahlung emission should not exceed the observed $\gamma$-ray luminosity, whilst the lower limit is constrained from the condition that the energy density of non-thermal electrons is smaller than that of the total plasma. Then we find $\rho$ is $10^2$-$10^3$ times heavier than that of non-thermal electrons for pure $e^{\pm}$ pairs, while $10^2$-$10^6$ times heavier for pure electron-proton ($e/p$) content, implying the existence of a large amount of invisible plasma. The origin of the continuous blazar sequence is shortly discussed and we speculate that the total mass density and/or the blending ratio of $e^{\pm}$ pairs and $e/p$ plasma could be new key quantities for the origin of the sequence.
Comment: Accepted MNRAS; 8 pages, 3 figures, 1 table
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Astrophysics
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