Suppression of AGN-driven Turbulence by Magnetic Fields in a Magnetohydrodynamic Model of the Intracluster Medium

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We investigate the role of AGN feedback in turbulent heating of galaxy clusters. Specifically, we analyze the production of turbulence by g-modes generated by the supersonic expansion and buoyant rise of AGN-driven bubbles. Previous work which neglects magnetic fields has shown that this process is inefficient, with less than 1% of the injected energy ending up in turbulence. This inefficiency is primarily due to the fact that the bubbles are shredded apart by hydrodynamic instabilities before they can excite sufficiently strong g-modes. Using a plane-parallel model of the ICM and 3D ideal MHD simulations, we examine the role of a large-scale magnetic field which is able to drape around these rising bubbles, preserving them from hydrodynamic instabilities. We find that, while magnetic draping appears better able to preserve AGN-driven bubbles, the driving of g-modes and the resulting production of turbulence is still inefficient. The magnetic tension force prevents g-modes from tran- sitioning into the nonlinear regime, suppressing turbulence in our model ICM. Our work highlights the ways in which ideal MHD is an insufficient description for the cluster feedback process, and we discuss future work such as the inclusion of anisotropic viscosity as a means of simulating high β plasma kinetic effects. These results suggest the hypothesis that other mechanisms of heating the ICM plasma such as sound waves or cosmic rays may be responsible for observed feedback in galaxy clusters.

galaxies: clusters: intracluster medium, magnetohydrodynamics (MHD), turbulence
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Astrophysical Journal
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American Astronomical Society
National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NNX17AG27G)
Directorate for Mathematical & Physical Sciences (1333514)