Interaction of Fanaroff-Riley class II radio jets with a randomly magnetized intracluster medium
A combination of 3D magnetohydrodynamics and synthetic numerical simulations are presented to follow the evolution of a randomly magnetized plasma that models the intracluster medium, under the isolated effects of powerful, light, hypersonic and bipolar Fanaroff–Riley class II jets. We prescribe the cluster magnetic field (CMF) as a Gaussian random field with a Kolmogorov-like energy spectrum. Both the power of the jets and the viewing angle that is used for the synthetic rotation measure (RM) observations are investigated. We find the model radio sources introduce and amplify fluctuations on the RM statistical properties which we analyse as a function of time as well as the viewing angle. The average RM and the RM standard deviation are increased by the action of the jets. Energetics, RM statistics and magnetic power spectral analysis consistently show that the effects also correlate with the jets’ power, and that the lightest, fastest jets produce the strongest changes in their environment. We see jets distort and amplify the CMFs especially near the edges of the lobes and the jets’ heads. This process leads to a flattening of the RM structure functions at scales comparable to the source size. The edge features we find are similar to ones observed in Hydra A. The results show that jet-produced RM enhancements are more apparent in quasars than in radio galaxies. Globally, jets tend to enhance the RM standard deviation which may lead to overestimations of the CMFs’ strength by about 70 per cent. This study means to serve as a pathfinder for the SKA, EVLA and LOFAR to follow the evolution of cosmic magnetic fields.