Astrid Lamberts - University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

Astrid Lamberts
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Astrid Lamberts
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
United States

Pubs By Year

Pub Categories

High Energy Astrophysical Phenomena (15)
Cosmology and Nongalactic Astrophysics (5)
Solar and Stellar Astrophysics (2)
Physics - Plasma Physics (2)
Physics - Computational Physics (2)
Instrumentation and Methods for Astrophysics (1)

Publications Authored By Astrid Lamberts

Many astrophysical plasmas are prone to beam-plasma instabilities. For relativistic and dilute beams, the spectral support of the beam-plasma instabilities is narrow, i.e. Read More

In this contribution we review the recent progress in the modeling of Pulsar Wind Nebulae (PWN). We start with a brief overview of the relevant physical processes in the magnetosphere, the wind-zone and the inflated nebula bubble. Radiative signatures and particle transport processes obtained from 3D simulations of PWN are discussed in the context of optical and X-ray observations. Read More

Numerical heating in particle-in-cell (PIC) codes currently precludes the accurate simulation of cold, relativistic plasma over long periods, severely limiting their applications in astrophysical environments. We present a spatially higher order accurate relativistic PIC algorithm in one spatial dimension which conserves charge and momentum exactly. We utilize the smoothness implied by the usage of higher order interpolation functions to achieve a spatially higher order accurate algorithm (up to 5th order). Read More

The X-ray light curves of the early afterglow phase from gamma-ray bursts present a puzzling diversity, including flares. The origin of these flares is still debated, and often associated with a late activity of the central engine. We discuss an alternative scenario where the central engine remains short-lived and flares are produced by the propagation of a long-lived reverse shock in a stratified ejecta. Read More

Many-degree-scale gamma-ray halos are expected to surround extragalactic high-energy gamma ray sources. These arise from the inverse Compton emission of an intergalactic population of relativistic electron/positron pairs generated by the annihilation of >100 GeV gamma rays on the extragalactic background light. These are typically anisotropic due to the jetted structure from which they originate or the presence of intergalactic magnetic fields. Read More

Pair creation on the cosmic infrared background and subsequent inverse-Compton scattering on the CMB potentially reprocesses the TeV emission of blazars into faint GeV halos with structures sensitive to intergalactic magnetic fields (IGMF). We attempt to detect such halos exploiting their highly anisotropic shape. Their persistent nondetection excludes at greater than $3. Read More

The annihilation of TeV photons from extragalactic TeV sources and the extragalactic background light produces ultrarelativistic $e^{\pm}$ beams, which are subject to powerful plasma instabilities that sap their kinetic energy. Here we study the linear phase of the plasma instabilities that these pair beams drive. To this end, we calculate the linear growth rate of the beam plasma and oblique instability in the electrostatic approximation in both the reactive and kinetic regimes, assuming a Maxwell-J{\"u}ttner distribution for the pair beam. Read More

Extended inverse Compton halos are generally anticipated around extragalactic sources of gamma rays with energies above 100 GeV. These result from inverse Compton scattered cosmic microwave background photons by a population of high-energy electron/positron pairs produced by the annihilation of the high-energy gamma rays on the infrared background. Despite the observed attenuation of the high-energy gamma rays, the halo emission has yet to be directly detected. Read More

The recent LIGO detection of gravitational waves (GW150914), likely originating from the merger of two $\sim 30 M_\odot$ black holes suggests progenitor stars of low metallicity ($[Z/Z_\odot] \lesssim 0.3$), constraining when and where the progenitor of GW150914 may have formed. We combine estimates of galaxy properties (metallicity, star formation rate and merger rate) across cosmic time to predict the low redshift black hole - black hole merger rate as a function of present day host galaxy mass, $M_\mathrm{gal}$, and the formation redshift of the progenitor system $z_\mathrm{form}$ for different progenitor metallicities $Z_\mathrm{c}$. Read More

Detailed modeling of the high-energy emission from gamma-ray binaries has been propounded as a path to pulsar wind physics. Fulfilling this ambition requires a coherent model of the flow and its emission in the region where the pulsar wind interacts with the stellar wind of its companion. We developed a code that follows the evolution and emission of electrons in the shocked pulsar wind based on inputs from a relativistic hydrodynamical simulation. Read More

TeV-blazars potentially heat the intergalactic medium (IGM) as their gamma rays interact with photons of the extragalactic background light to produce electron-positron pairs, which lose their kinetic energy to the surrounding medium through plasma instabilities. This results in a heating mechanism that is only weakly sensitive to the local density, and therefore approximately spatially uniform, naturally producing an inverted temperature-density relation in underdense regions. In this paper we go beyond the approximation of uniform heating and quantify the heating rate fluctuations due to the clustered distribution of blazars and how this impacts on the thermal history of the IGM. Read More

Advances in X-ray and gamma-ray astronomy have opened a new window on our universe and revealed a wide variety of binaries composed of a compact object and a Be star. In Be X-ray binaries, a neutron star accretes the Be disk and truncates it through tidal interactions. Such systems have important X-ray outbursts, some related to the disk structure. Read More

Affiliations: 1University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, 2Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics, 3Heidelberg Institute for Theoretical Studies, 4Institute of Astronomy and Kavli Insitute for Cosmology, 5University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, 6Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics

Very-high energy gamma-rays from extragalactic sources pair-produce off of the extragalactic background light, yielding an electron-positron pair beam. This pair beam is unstable to various plasma instabilities, especially the "oblique" instability, which can be the dominant cooling mechanism for the beam. However, recently, it has been claimed that nonlinear Landau damping renders it physically irrelevant by reducing the effective damping rate to a low level. Read More

Gamma-ray binaries are composed of a massive star and a rotation-powered pulsar with a highly relativistic wind. The collision between the winds from both objects creates a shock structure where particles are accelerated, resulting in the observed high energy emission. We study the impact of special relativity on the structure and stability of the colliding wind region and highlight the differences with colliding winds from massive stars. Read More

We present high resolution simulations with RAMSES of supersonic colliding stellar winds. The collision results in a double shock structure which is subject to different instabilities. The Kelvin-Helmholtz instability (KHI) introduces some mixing and variability. Read More

Gamma-ray binaries are colliding wind binaries (CWB) composed of a massive star a non-accreting pulsar with a highly relativistic wind. Particle acceleration at the shocks results in emission going from extended radio emission to the gamma-ray band. The interaction region is expected to show common features with stellar CWB. Read More

The collision of winds from massive stars in binaries results in the formation of a double-shock structure with observed signatures from radio to X-rays. We study the structure and stability of the colliding wind region as it turns into a spiral due to orbital motion. We focus on adiabatic winds, where mixing between the two winds is expected to be restricted to the Kelvin-Helmholtz instability (KHI). Read More

We investigate the hydrodynamics of the interaction of two supersonic winds in binary systems. The collision of the winds creates two shocks separated by a contact discontinuity. The overall structure depends on the momentum flux ratio eta of the winds. Read More