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Volume 84, Number 1, October 2008
Article Number 19001
Number of page(s) 6
Section Geophysics, Astronomy and Astrophysics
Published online 17 September 2008
EPL, 84 (2008) 19001
DOI: 10.1209/0295-5075/84/19001

Polarization of superluminal $\chem{\gamma}$-rays: Tachyonic flare spectra of quasar 3C 279

R. Tomaschitz

Department of Physics, Hiroshima University - 1-3-1 Kagami-yama, Higashi-Hiroshima 739-8526, Japan

received 20 August 2008; accepted in final form 29 August 2008; published October 2008
published online 17 September 2008

The polarization of superluminal radiation is studied, based on the tachyonic Maxwell equations for Proca fields with negative mass-square. The cross-sections for the scattering of transversal and longitudinal tachyons by electrons are derived. The polarized superluminal flux vectors of dipole currents are calculated, and the power transversally and longitudinally radiated is obtained. Specifically, the polarization of the $\gamma $-ray spectrum of quasar 3C 279 is studied. Two flare spectra of this blazar at redshift 0.538 are fitted with tachyonic cascades generated by the thermal electron plasma in the active galactic nucleus. The transversal and longitudinal radiation components and the thermodynamic parameters of the ultra-relativistic plasma are extracted from the spectral map. An extended spectral plateau typical for tachyonic $\gamma $-ray spectra emerges in the MeV and low GeV range. The curvature of the adjacent GeV spectral slope is shown to be intrinsic, caused by the Boltzmann factor of the electron plasma rather than by intergalactic absorption.

95.30.Gv - Radiation mechanisms; polarization.
13.88.+e - Polarization in interactions and scattering.
42.25.Ja - Polarization.

© EPLA 2008