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The complex interplay of AGN jet-inflated bubbles and the intracluster medium

Huško, Filip; Lacey, Cedric G

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We use SWIFT, a smoothed particle hydrodynamics code, to simulate the evolution of bubbles inflated by active galactic nuclei (AGNs) jets, as well as their interactions with the ambient intracluster medium (ICM). These jets inflate lobes that turn into bubbles after the jets are turned off (at t = 50 Myr). Almost all of the energy injected into the jets is transferred to the ICM very quickly after they are turned off, with roughly 70 per cent of it in thermal form and the rest in kinetic. At late times (t > 500 Myr) we find the following: (1) the bubbles draw out trailing filaments of low-entropy gas, similar to those recently observed, (2) the action of buoyancy and the uplift of the filaments dominates the energetics of both the bubbles and the ICM, and (3) almost all of the originally injected energy is in the form of gravitational potential energy, with the bubbles containing 15 per cent of it, and the rest contained in the ICM. These findings indicate that feedback proceeds mainly through the displacement of gas to larger radii. We find that the uplift of these filaments permanently changes the thermodynamic properties of the ICM by reducing the central density and increasing the central temperature (within 30 kpc). We propose that jet feedback proceeds not only through the heating of the ICM (which can delay cooling), but also through the uplift-related reduction of the central gas density. The latter also delays cooling, on top of reducing the amount of gas available to cool.


Huško, F., & Lacey, C. G. (2023). The complex interplay of AGN jet-inflated bubbles and the intracluster medium. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 521(3), 4375-4394.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Mar 11, 2023
Online Publication Date Mar 29, 2023
Publication Date 2023
Deposit Date May 10, 2023
Publicly Available Date May 10, 2023
Journal Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Print ISSN 0035-8711
Electronic ISSN 1365-2966
Publisher Royal Astronomical Society
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 521
Issue 3
Pages 4375-4394


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Copyright Statement
© 2023 The Author(s).<br /> Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Royal Astronomical Society. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative<br /> Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted reuse, distribution, and reproduction in any medium,<br /> provided the original work is properly cited.

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