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Fossil AGN as cosmic particle accelerators

Creative Commons 'BY' version 4.0 license

Remnants of active galactic nucleus (AGN) jets and their surrounding cocoons leave colossal magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) fossil structures storing total energies ∼1060 erg. The original active galacic nucleus (AGN) may be dead but the fossil will retain its stable magnetic configuration resembling the reversed-field pinch (RFP) encountered in laboratory MHD experiments. Slow decay of the large-scale RFP field induces electric fields which can accelerate cosmic rays with an E-2 power-law up to ultra-high energies. A similar mechanism, operting for fossil micro- quasars could contribute to Galactic cosmic rays and be responsible for some unidentified GeV and TeV gamma-ray sources.

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