Magnetic dissipation in relativistic jets

Yosuke Mizuno*, Jose L. Gómez, Ken Ichi Nishikawa, Athina Meli, Philip E. Hardee, Luciano Rezzolla, Chandra B. Singh, Elisabete M. de Gouveia Dal Pino

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The most promising mechanisms for producing and accelerating relativistic jets, and maintaining collimated structure of relativistic jets involve magnetohydrodynamical (MHD) processes. We have investigated the magnetic dissipation mechanism in relativistic jets via relativistic MHD simulations. We found that the relativistic jets involving a helical magnetic field are unstable for the current-driven kink instability, which leads to helically distorted structure in relativistic jets. We identified the regions of high current density in filamentary current sheets, indicative of magnetic reconnection, which are associated to the kink unstable regions and correlated to the converted regions of magnetic to kinetic energies of the jets. We also found that an over-pressured relativistic jet leads to the generation of a series of stationary recollimation shocks and rarefaction structures by the nonlinear interaction of shocks and rarefaction waves. The differences in the recollimation shock structure due to the difference of the magnetic field topologies and strengths may be observable through mm-VLBI observations and space-VLBI mission.

Original languageEnglish
Article number40
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Galaxies: jets
  • Instabilities
  • Magnetohydrodynamics (MHD)
  • Methods: numerical
  • Shock waves


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