Rocha da Silva, G.
de Gouveia Dal Pino, E. M.
Total Authors: 4
 Univ Sao Paulo, Inst Astron Geofis & Ciencias Atmosfer, BR-05508090 Sao Paulo - Brazil
 Univ Sao Paulo, Escola Artes Ciencias & Humanidades, BR-03828000 Sao Paulo - Brazil
 Univ St Andrews, Sch Phys & Astron, SUPA, St Andrews KY16 9SS, Fife - Scotland
Total Affiliations: 3
Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society;
Web of Science Citations:
Strong downstream magnetic fields of the order of similar to 1G, with large correlation lengths, are believed to cause the large synchrotron emission at the afterglow phase of gamma-ray bursts (GRBs). Despite the recent theoretical efforts, models have failed to fully explain the amplification of the magnetic field, particularly in a matter-dominated scenario. We revisit the problem by considering the synchrotron emission to occur at the expanding shock front of a weakly magnetized relativistic jet over a magnetized surrounding medium. Analytical estimates and a number of high-resolution 2D relativistic magnetohydrodynamical (RMHD) simulations are provided. Jet opening angles of theta = 0 degrees-20 degrees, and ambient to jet density ratios of 10(-4)-10(2) were considered. We found that most of the amplification is due to compression of the ambient magnetic field at the contact discontinuity between the reverse and forward shocks at the jet head, with substantial pile-up of the magnetic field lines as the jet propagates sweeping the ambient field lines. The pile-up is maximum for theta -> 0, decreasing with theta, but larger than in the spherical blast problem. Values obtained for certain models are able to explain the observed intensities. The maximum correlation lengths found for such strong fields is of l(corr) <= 10(14) cm, 2-6 orders of magnitude larger than the found in previous works. (AU)