3D magnetohydrodynamic simulations of the evolution of magnetic fields in Fanaroff-Riley class II radio sources
Radio observations of Fanaroff–Riley class II (FR II) sources often show correlations between the synchrotron emission and the linear-polarimetric distributions. Magnetic position vectors seem to align with the projected emission of both the radio jets and the sources’ edges. Using statistics we study such relation as well as its unknown time evolution via synthetic polarization maps of model FR II sources formed in 3D magnetohydrodynamics numerical simulations of bipolar, hypersonic and weakly magnetized jets. The magnetic field is initially random with a Kolmogorov power spectrum, everywhere. We investigate the structure and evolution of magnetic fields in the sources as a function of the power of jets and the observational viewing angle. Our synthetic polarization maps agree with observations, showing B-field vectors which are predominantly aligned with the jet axis, and show that magnetic fields inside sources are shaped by the jets’ backflow. Polarimetry is found to correlate with time, the viewing angle and the jet-to-ambient density contrast. The magnetic structure inside thin elongated sources is more uniform than inside more spherical ones. We see jets increase the magnetic energy in cocoons in proportion to the jet velocity and the cocoon width. Filaments in the synthetic emission maps suggest turbulence develops in evolved sources.