Sie sind auf Seite 1von 73

Free-free emission (Bremsstrahlung)

Prasad Subramanian

Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER), Pune, India

Subramanian Free-free emission (Bremsstrahlung)


Free-free emission - introduction

The first radiation process we will pay attention to is the


so-called free-free process

Subramanian Free-free emission (Bremsstrahlung)


Free-free emission - introduction

The first radiation process we will pay attention to is the


so-called free-free process
Also called Bremsstrahlung in German -

Subramanian Free-free emission (Bremsstrahlung)


Free-free emission - introduction

The first radiation process we will pay attention to is the


so-called free-free process
Also called Bremsstrahlung in German - literally, “braking”
radiation
This is essentially radiation due to Coulomb interactions of
electrons with ions, except

Subramanian Free-free emission (Bremsstrahlung)


Free-free emission - introduction

The first radiation process we will pay attention to is the


so-called free-free process
Also called Bremsstrahlung in German - literally, “braking”
radiation
This is essentially radiation due to Coulomb interactions of
electrons with ions, except
Free electrons are scattered off ions without being captured;
i.e., they remain free;

Subramanian Free-free emission (Bremsstrahlung)


Free-free emission - introduction

The first radiation process we will pay attention to is the


so-called free-free process
Also called Bremsstrahlung in German - literally, “braking”
radiation
This is essentially radiation due to Coulomb interactions of
electrons with ions, except
Free electrons are scattered off ions without being captured;
i.e., they remain free; hence free-free

Subramanian Free-free emission (Bremsstrahlung)


Free-free emission - introduction

The first radiation process we will pay attention to is the


so-called free-free process
Also called Bremsstrahlung in German - literally, “braking”
radiation
This is essentially radiation due to Coulomb interactions of
electrons with ions, except
Free electrons are scattered off ions without being captured;
i.e., they remain free; hence free-free
The electrons can be thermal

Subramanian Free-free emission (Bremsstrahlung)


Free-free emission - introduction

The first radiation process we will pay attention to is the


so-called free-free process
Also called Bremsstrahlung in German - literally, “braking”
radiation
This is essentially radiation due to Coulomb interactions of
electrons with ions, except
Free electrons are scattered off ions without being captured;
i.e., they remain free; hence free-free
The electrons can be thermal (thermal bremsstrahlung), or
nonthermal

Subramanian Free-free emission (Bremsstrahlung)


Free-free emission - introduction

The first radiation process we will pay attention to is the


so-called free-free process
Also called Bremsstrahlung in German - literally, “braking”
radiation
This is essentially radiation due to Coulomb interactions of
electrons with ions, except
Free electrons are scattered off ions without being captured;
i.e., they remain free; hence free-free
The electrons can be thermal (thermal bremsstrahlung), or
nonthermal (nonthermal bremsstrahlung)

Subramanian Free-free emission (Bremsstrahlung)


Free-free emission - introduction

The first radiation process we will pay attention to is the


so-called free-free process
Also called Bremsstrahlung in German - literally, “braking”
radiation
This is essentially radiation due to Coulomb interactions of
electrons with ions, except
Free electrons are scattered off ions without being captured;
i.e., they remain free; hence free-free
The electrons can be thermal (thermal bremsstrahlung), or
nonthermal (nonthermal bremsstrahlung)
...and you will notice that we always invoke the electrons to
produce the observed radiation (by whatever process)

Subramanian Free-free emission (Bremsstrahlung)


Free-free emission - introduction

The first radiation process we will pay attention to is the


so-called free-free process
Also called Bremsstrahlung in German - literally, “braking”
radiation
This is essentially radiation due to Coulomb interactions of
electrons with ions, except
Free electrons are scattered off ions without being captured;
i.e., they remain free; hence free-free
The electrons can be thermal (thermal bremsstrahlung), or
nonthermal (nonthermal bremsstrahlung)
...and you will notice that we always invoke the electrons to
produce the observed radiation (by whatever process) why?

Subramanian Free-free emission (Bremsstrahlung)


Where do you invoke Bremsstrahlung?

(Radio frequency) radiation from HII regions

Subramanian Free-free emission (Bremsstrahlung)


Where do you invoke Bremsstrahlung?

(Radio frequency) radiation from HII regions


Shocked plasma;

Subramanian Free-free emission (Bremsstrahlung)


Where do you invoke Bremsstrahlung?

(Radio frequency) radiation from HII regions


Shocked plasma; e.g., (interior of) a supernova shell (mostly
Xray)

Subramanian Free-free emission (Bremsstrahlung)


Where do you invoke Bremsstrahlung?

(Radio frequency) radiation from HII regions


Shocked plasma; e.g., (interior of) a supernova shell (mostly
Xray)
Intracluster medium (also probably shocked, mostly Xray)

Subramanian Free-free emission (Bremsstrahlung)


Where do you invoke Bremsstrahlung?

(Radio frequency) radiation from HII regions


Shocked plasma; e.g., (interior of) a supernova shell (mostly
Xray)
Intracluster medium (also probably shocked, mostly Xray)
Colliding stellar winds

Subramanian Free-free emission (Bremsstrahlung)


Where do you invoke Bremsstrahlung?

(Radio frequency) radiation from HII regions


Shocked plasma; e.g., (interior of) a supernova shell (mostly
Xray)
Intracluster medium (also probably shocked, mostly Xray)
Colliding stellar winds
Quiescent emission from stellar coronae (such as our Sun’s
corona)

Subramanian Free-free emission (Bremsstrahlung)


Bottomline..

Formula for free-free emissivity:


1/2
25 πe 6
  
2π −1/2 hν
ff = gff (Te )Te exp − ne Σni Zi2
3me c 3 3kme kTe
erg s−1 cm−3 Hz−1

Subramanian Free-free emission (Bremsstrahlung)


Bottomline..

Formula for free-free emissivity:


1/2
25 πe 6
  
2π −1/2 hν
ff = gff (Te )Te exp − ne Σni Zi2
3me c 3 3kme kTe
erg s−1 cm−3 Hz−1

..so Bremsstrahlung is somewhat sensitive to electron temperature


−1/2
Te , and very sensitive to the plasma density (n2 ).

Subramanian Free-free emission (Bremsstrahlung)


Bremsstrahlung due to single speed electrons

Radiation due to the acceleration of a charge in the Coulomb


field of another charge is called bremsstrahlung or free-free
emission

Subramanian Free-free emission (Bremsstrahlung)


Bremsstrahlung due to single speed electrons

Radiation due to the acceleration of a charge in the Coulomb


field of another charge is called bremsstrahlung or free-free
emission
Really requires a quantum treatment, since photons of
energies comparable to that of the emitting particle can be
produced

Subramanian Free-free emission (Bremsstrahlung)


Bremsstrahlung due to single speed electrons

Radiation due to the acceleration of a charge in the Coulomb


field of another charge is called bremsstrahlung or free-free
emission
Really requires a quantum treatment, since photons of
energies comparable to that of the emitting particle can be
produced
However, a classical treatment is often justified, and the
formulas have the correct functional dependence for most of
the physical parameters

Subramanian Free-free emission (Bremsstrahlung)


Bremsstrahlung due to single speed electrons

Radiation due to the acceleration of a charge in the Coulomb


field of another charge is called bremsstrahlung or free-free
emission
Really requires a quantum treatment, since photons of
energies comparable to that of the emitting particle can be
produced
However, a classical treatment is often justified, and the
formulas have the correct functional dependence for most of
the physical parameters
Quantum corrections → Gaunt factors

Subramanian Free-free emission (Bremsstrahlung)


Larmor’s formula - brief recap

Power per unit solid angle radiated by a single, accelerated


electron:

dW q 2 u̇ 2 2
= sin Θ
dtdΩ 4πc 3

Subramanian Free-free emission (Bremsstrahlung)


Larmor’s formula - brief recap

Power per unit solid angle radiated by a single, accelerated


electron:

dW q 2 u̇ 2 2
= sin Θ
dtdΩ 4πc 3
...and integrating over solid angle gives

2q 2 u̇ 2
P=
3c 3

Subramanian Free-free emission (Bremsstrahlung)


Larmor’s formula - brief recap

Power per unit solid angle radiated by a single, accelerated


electron:

dW q 2 u̇ 2 2
= sin Θ
dtdΩ 4πc 3
...and integrating over solid angle gives

2q 2 u̇ 2
P=
3c 3
..so this is good for a single particle, but what about an ensemble
of particles? One could just vectorially add all the (retarded)
electric fields due to all the charges, but its very cumbersome.

Subramanian Free-free emission (Bremsstrahlung)


Instead, if the system of charges (of extent L) is nonrelativistic, in
the sense that the light travel time across the system  timescale
for changes in the system, then
 
q
Erad = n × (n × u̇)
Rc 2

Subramanian Free-free emission (Bremsstrahlung)


Instead, if the system of charges (of extent L) is nonrelativistic, in
the sense that the light travel time across the system  timescale
for changes in the system, then
 
q
Erad = n × (n × u̇)
Rc 2

Defining the dipole moment d = Σqi ri , this becomes


 
1
Erad = n × (n × d̈)
R0 c 2

which leads to the “Larmor formula”

2d̈2
P=
3c 3

Subramanian Free-free emission (Bremsstrahlung)


Some basics

Bremsstrahlung due to “collisions” of like particles (e.g., e-e,


p-p) is zero

Subramanian Free-free emission (Bremsstrahlung)


Some basics

Bremsstrahlung due to “collisions” of like particles (e.g., e-e,


p-p) is zero
..because the dipole moment Σei ri is simply ∝ the center of
mass Σmi ri is a constant of motion

Subramanian Free-free emission (Bremsstrahlung)


Some basics

Bremsstrahlung due to “collisions” of like particles (e.g., e-e,


p-p) is zero
..because the dipole moment Σei ri is simply ∝ the center of
mass Σmi ri is a constant of motion
...and of course, by Larmor’s formula, the radiation is ∝ d̈

Subramanian Free-free emission (Bremsstrahlung)


Some basics

Bremsstrahlung due to “collisions” of like particles (e.g., e-e,


p-p) is zero
..because the dipole moment Σei ri is simply ∝ the center of
mass Σmi ri is a constant of motion
...and of course, by Larmor’s formula, the radiation is ∝ d̈
...so we only consider electron-ion Bremsstrahlung

Subramanian Free-free emission (Bremsstrahlung)


Some basics

Bremsstrahlung due to “collisions” of like particles (e.g., e-e,


p-p) is zero
..because the dipole moment Σei ri is simply ∝ the center of
mass Σmi ri is a constant of motion
...and of course, by Larmor’s formula, the radiation is ∝ d̈
...so we only consider electron-ion Bremsstrahlung (with
electrons as the primary radiators)

Subramanian Free-free emission (Bremsstrahlung)


Subramanian Free-free emission (Bremsstrahlung)
Electron moving (almost) undeflected in the field of an ion

Subramanian Free-free emission (Bremsstrahlung)


Electron moving (almost) undeflected in the field of an ion
the small angle scattering regime
The impact parameter is b

Subramanian Free-free emission (Bremsstrahlung)


Electron moving (almost) undeflected in the field of an ion
the small angle scattering regime
The impact parameter is b
The second derivative of the dipole moment is d̈ = −e v̇,
where v is the velocity of the electron

Subramanian Free-free emission (Bremsstrahlung)


Electron moving (almost) undeflected in the field of an ion
the small angle scattering regime
The impact parameter is b
The second derivative of the dipole moment is d̈ = −e v̇,
where v is the velocity of the electron
˜
Since the Fourier transform of d̈ is −ω 2 d(ω), we have
Z ∞
˜
2 e
−ω d(ω) =− v̇ exp(iωt)dt
2π −∞

Subramanian Free-free emission (Bremsstrahlung)


Electron moving (almost) undeflected in the field of an ion
the small angle scattering regime
The impact parameter is b
The second derivative of the dipole moment is d̈ = −e v̇,
where v is the velocity of the electron
˜
Since the Fourier transform of d̈ is −ω 2 d(ω), we have
Z ∞
˜
2 e
−ω d(ω) =− v̇ exp(iωt)dt
2π −∞

We usually don’t have to evaluate the full integral; consider


the collision time τ = b/v , and the limits ωτ  1 and ωτ  1

Subramanian Free-free emission (Bremsstrahlung)


Electron moving (almost) undeflected in the field of an ion
the small angle scattering regime
The impact parameter is b
The second derivative of the dipole moment is d̈ = −e v̇,
where v is the velocity of the electron
˜
Since the Fourier transform of d̈ is −ω 2 d(ω), we have
Z ∞
˜
2 e
−ω d(ω) =− v̇ exp(iωt)dt
2π −∞

We usually don’t have to evaluate the full integral; consider


the collision time τ = b/v , and the limits ωτ  1 and ωτ  1
For ωτ  1, the exponential oscillates rapidly, and the
integral (pretty much) averages to zero

Subramanian Free-free emission (Bremsstrahlung)


For ωτ  1, though, the exponential is essentially unity, and

˜ e
d(ω) ≈ ∆v ,
2πω 2
where ∆v is the change in velocity during the collision

Subramanian Free-free emission (Bremsstrahlung)


For ωτ  1, though, the exponential is essentially unity, and

˜ e
d(ω) ≈ ∆v ,
2πω 2
where ∆v is the change in velocity during the collision (which is
mostly perpendicular, because the path is mostly linear).

Subramanian Free-free emission (Bremsstrahlung)


For ωτ  1, though, the exponential is essentially unity, and

˜ e
d(ω) ≈ ∆v ,
2πω 2
where ∆v is the change in velocity during the collision (which is
mostly perpendicular, because the path is mostly linear). So (look
at the figure to convince yourself)

Ze 2 2Ze 2
Z
bdt
∆v = = , ωτ  1 (or b  v /ω)
m ∞ (b 2 + v 2 t 2 )3/2 mbv

Subramanian Free-free emission (Bremsstrahlung)


For ωτ  1, though, the exponential is essentially unity, and

˜ e
d(ω) ≈ ∆v ,
2πω 2
where ∆v is the change in velocity during the collision (which is
mostly perpendicular, because the path is mostly linear). So (look
at the figure to convince yourself)

Ze 2 2Ze 2
Z
bdt
∆v = = , ωτ  1 (or b  v /ω)
m ∞ (b 2 + v 2 t 2 )3/2 mbv

In Fourier space, Larmor’s (dipole) formula is

8πω 4 ˜ 2

dW
= d(ω)
dω 3c 3

Subramanian Free-free emission (Bremsstrahlung)


Putting things together,

dW (b) 8Z 2 e 6
= , b  v /ω
dω 3πc 3 m2 v 2 b 2

Subramanian Free-free emission (Bremsstrahlung)


Putting things together,

dW (b) 8Z 2 e 6
= , b  v /ω
dω 3πc 3 m2 v 2 b 2
..so this is for a single electron and a single ion, but what we’re
really interested in is a medium with electron density ne (all with a
single speed, though) and ion density ni .

Subramanian Free-free emission (Bremsstrahlung)


Putting things together,

dW (b) 8Z 2 e 6
= , b  v /ω
dω 3πc 3 m2 v 2 b 2
..so this is for a single electron and a single ion, but what we’re
really interested in is a medium with electron density ne (all with a
single speed, though) and ion density ni . We can consider the
(target) ions to be contained in a cylinder of radius b, (area
element 2πbdb) with an electron flux ne v incident on it.

Subramanian Free-free emission (Bremsstrahlung)


Putting things together,

dW (b) 8Z 2 e 6
= , b  v /ω
dω 3πc 3 m2 v 2 b 2
..so this is for a single electron and a single ion, but what we’re
really interested in is a medium with electron density ne (all with a
single speed, though) and ion density ni . We can consider the
(target) ions to be contained in a cylinder of radius b, (area
element 2πbdb) with an electron flux ne v incident on it. This gives
Z ∞
dW (b) dW (b)
= ne ni 2πv b db
dωdVdt bmin dω

Subramanian Free-free emission (Bremsstrahlung)


Putting things together,

dW (b) 8Z 2 e 6
= , b  v /ω
dω 3πc 3 m2 v 2 b 2
..so this is for a single electron and a single ion, but what we’re
really interested in is a medium with electron density ne (all with a
single speed, though) and ion density ni . We can consider the
(target) ions to be contained in a cylinder of radius b, (area
element 2πbdb) with an electron flux ne v incident on it. This gives
Z ∞
dW (b) dW (b)
= ne ni 2πv b db
dωdVdt bmin dω

Substituting the b  v /ω result, we get


bmax
16e 6 16e 6
Z  
dW (b) db bmax
= 3 2 ne ni Z 2 = 3 2 ne ni Z 2 ln
dωdVdt 3c m v bmin b 3c m v bmin

Subramanian Free-free emission (Bremsstrahlung)


bmin and bmax
Key question: what are bmin and bmax , the minimum and
maximum impact parameters?

Subramanian Free-free emission (Bremsstrahlung)


bmin and bmax
Key question: what are bmin and bmax , the minimum and
maximum impact parameters? bmax is the value of b above which
the contribution of the integrand is negligible.

Subramanian Free-free emission (Bremsstrahlung)


bmin and bmax
Key question: what are bmin and bmax , the minimum and
maximum impact parameters? bmax is the value of b above which
the contribution of the integrand is negligible. Since we’re using
the b  v /ω expression, its safe to set bmax = v /ω.

Subramanian Free-free emission (Bremsstrahlung)


bmin and bmax
Key question: what are bmin and bmax , the minimum and
maximum impact parameters? bmax is the value of b above which
the contribution of the integrand is negligible. Since we’re using
the b  v /ω expression, its safe to set bmax = v /ω. As for bmin , it
depends - if we’re content with the classical regime, we can say its
the minimum value where the straight line trajectory approximation
(1)
is still valid; i.e., ∆v ∼ v , which gives bmin = 4Ze 2 /πmv 2 .

Subramanian Free-free emission (Bremsstrahlung)


bmin and bmax
Key question: what are bmin and bmax , the minimum and
maximum impact parameters? bmax is the value of b above which
the contribution of the integrand is negligible. Since we’re using
the b  v /ω expression, its safe to set bmax = v /ω. As for bmin , it
depends - if we’re content with the classical regime, we can say its
the minimum value where the straight line trajectory approximation
(1)
is still valid; i.e., ∆v ∼ v , which gives bmin = 4Ze 2 /πmv 2 .
Alternately, using the uncertainty principle ∆x ∆p & ~, and taking
(2)
∆x ∼ b and ∆p ∼ mv , we get bmin = h/mv .

Subramanian Free-free emission (Bremsstrahlung)


bmin and bmax
Key question: what are bmin and bmax , the minimum and
maximum impact parameters? bmax is the value of b above which
the contribution of the integrand is negligible. Since we’re using
the b  v /ω expression, its safe to set bmax = v /ω. As for bmin , it
depends - if we’re content with the classical regime, we can say its
the minimum value where the straight line trajectory approximation
(1)
is still valid; i.e., ∆v ∼ v , which gives bmin = 4Ze 2 /πmv 2 .
Alternately, using the uncertainty principle ∆x ∆p & ~, and taking
(2)
∆x ∼ b and ∆p ∼ mv , we get bmin = h/mv . Either way, the
results are rather insensitive to the ratio bmax /bmin , since it
appears in the logarithm.

Subramanian Free-free emission (Bremsstrahlung)


bmin and bmax
Key question: what are bmin and bmax , the minimum and
maximum impact parameters? bmax is the value of b above which
the contribution of the integrand is negligible. Since we’re using
the b  v /ω expression, its safe to set bmax = v /ω. As for bmin , it
depends - if we’re content with the classical regime, we can say its
the minimum value where the straight line trajectory approximation
(1)
is still valid; i.e., ∆v ∼ v , which gives bmin = 4Ze 2 /πmv 2 .
Alternately, using the uncertainty principle ∆x ∆p & ~, and taking
(2)
∆x ∼ b and ∆p ∼ mv , we get bmin = h/mv . Either way, the
results are rather insensitive to the ratio bmax /bmin , since it
appears in the logarithm. A convenient way of writing the results
(that straddles the classical and quantum regimes) is

dW (b) 16πe 6
= √ ne ni Z 2 gff (v , ω) ,
dωdVdt 3 3c 3 m2 v
where gff is the Gaunt factor.
Subramanian Free-free emission (Bremsstrahlung)
Thermal Bremsstrahlung
These formulae are for single speed electrons, but in practice, we
(often) have a thermal distribution, for which the probability that
electrons occupy a speed range dv is given by a Maxwellian
(Gaussian, basically).

Subramanian Free-free emission (Bremsstrahlung)


Thermal Bremsstrahlung
These formulae are for single speed electrons, but in practice, we
(often) have a thermal distribution, for which the probability that
electrons occupy a speed range dv is given by a Maxwellian
(Gaussian, basically). So
R∞
dW (T , ω) v [dW (v , ω)/dωdVdt]v 2 exp(−mv 2 /2kT )
= min R∞
2 2
dV dt dω 0 v exp(−mv /2kT )

Subramanian Free-free emission (Bremsstrahlung)


Thermal Bremsstrahlung
These formulae are for single speed electrons, but in practice, we
(often) have a thermal distribution, for which the probability that
electrons occupy a speed range dv is given by a Maxwellian
(Gaussian, basically). So
R∞
dW (T , ω) v [dW (v , ω)/dωdVdt]v 2 exp(−mv 2 /2kT )
= min R∞
2 2
dV dt dω 0 v exp(−mv /2kT )
p
With vmin ≡ 2hν/m, this gives (in cgs units)
 
ff dW −38 2 −1/2 hν
ν = = 6.8 × 10 Z ne ni T exp − g ff
dVdtdν kT
erg s−1 cm−3 Hz−1 , (1)
where g is a velocity-averaged Gaunt factor. The
(frequency-averaged) total power emitted by thermal
Bremsstrahlung is (in cgs)
ff = 1.4 × 10−27 T 1/2 ne ni Z 2 g B erg s−1 cm−3
Subramanian Free-free emission (Bremsstrahlung)
Subramanian Free-free emission (Bremsstrahlung)
Thermal Bremsstrahlung absorption

Just as an electron moving in the Coulomb field of an ion can emit


Bremsstrahlung, it can also absorb radiation.

Subramanian Free-free emission (Bremsstrahlung)


Thermal Bremsstrahlung absorption

Just as an electron moving in the Coulomb field of an ion can emit


Bremsstrahlung, it can also absorb radiation. In order to find the
relevant absorption coefficient ανff (cm−1 ), we write

dW
= 4πjνff = ανff Bν (T ) ,
dVdtdν
which gives (in cgs units)

ανff = 3.7 × 108 T −1/2 Z 2 ne ni ν −3 (1 − e −hν/kT )g ff cm−1

For radio frequencies, we’re in the Rayleigh-Jeans limit, and this


reduces to
ανff = 0.018T −3/2 Z 2 ne ni ν −2 g ff

Subramanian Free-free emission (Bremsstrahlung)


Bremsstrahlung optical thickness

Having some knowledge of ανff R, it makes sense to talk about an


associated optical depth τν = ανff ds, where the integration is
along the line of sight.

Subramanian Free-free emission (Bremsstrahlung)


Bremsstrahlung optical thickness

Having some knowledge of ανff R, it makes sense to talk about an


associated optical depth τν = ανff ds, where the integration is
along the line of sight. At very low frequencies, τ  1, and the
spectrum approaches a blackbody whose flux ∝ ν 2 (the
Rayleigh-Jeans spectrum).

Subramanian Free-free emission (Bremsstrahlung)


Bremsstrahlung optical thickness

Having some knowledge of ανff R, it makes sense to talk about an


associated optical depth τν = ανff ds, where the integration is
along the line of sight. At very low frequencies, τ  1, and the
spectrum approaches a blackbody whose flux ∝ ν 2 (the
Rayleigh-Jeans spectrum). At very high frequencies (but still in the
radio regime), τ  1, and the spectrum approaches
τnu 2kT ν 2 /c 2 ∝ ν −0.1

Subramanian Free-free emission (Bremsstrahlung)


Subramanian Free-free emission (Bremsstrahlung)
Subramanian Free-free emission (Bremsstrahlung)
Free-free opacity

A convenient way of expressing the free-free opacity (in the radio


frequency regime) is
 −3/2 
−2  
−2 Te ν EM
τν ≈ 3 × 10 g
K GHz pc cm−6 ff

where EM is the emission measure n2 ds along the line of sight.


R

Subramanian Free-free emission (Bremsstrahlung)


Free-free opacity

A convenient way of expressing the free-free opacity (in the radio


frequency regime) is
 −3/2 
−2  
−2 Te ν EM
τν ≈ 3 × 10 g
K GHz pc cm−6 ff

where EM is the emission measure n2 ds along the line of sight.


R

Including the (weak) frequency dependence and temperature


dependence of the Gaunt factor, it becomes
 −1.35  −2.1  
Te ν EM
τν ≈ 3.28 × 10−7
104 K GHz pc cm−6

Subramanian Free-free emission (Bremsstrahlung)


An illustrative example

From the observed brightness spectrum in the direction


perpendicular to our galactic disk, Cane (1979, MNRAS, 189, 465)
found that τ ≈ 1 at ν ≈ 3 MHz.

Subramanian Free-free emission (Bremsstrahlung)


An illustrative example

From the observed brightness spectrum in the direction


perpendicular to our galactic disk, Cane (1979, MNRAS, 189, 465)
found that τ ≈ 1 at ν ≈ 3 MHz. We can use this result to estimate
the typical electron density in the warm interstellar medium:

1 ≈ 3.28 × 10−7 × (1)−1.35 × 0.003−2.1 × ne2 × 1000 pc

Subramanian Free-free emission (Bremsstrahlung)


An illustrative example

From the observed brightness spectrum in the direction


perpendicular to our galactic disk, Cane (1979, MNRAS, 189, 465)
found that τ ≈ 1 at ν ≈ 3 MHz. We can use this result to estimate
the typical electron density in the warm interstellar medium:

1 ≈ 3.28 × 10−7 × (1)−1.35 × 0.003−2.1 × ne2 × 1000 pc


q
..which gives a value for the electron density ne2 ≈ 0.1 cm−3

Subramanian Free-free emission (Bremsstrahlung)


Subramanian Free-free emission (Bremsstrahlung)