Population statistics of beamed sources. II: Evaluation of Doppler factor estimates [HEAP]


In a companion paper we presented a statistical model for the blazar population, consisting of distributions for the unbeamed radio luminosity function and the Lorentz factor distribution of each of the BL Lac and Flat Spectrum Radio Quasar (FSRQ) classes. Our model has been optimized so that it reproduces the MOJAVE distributions of apparent speeds and redshifts when the appropriate flux limit is applied and a uniform distribution of jet viewing angles is assumed for the population. Here we use this model to predict the Doppler factor distribution for various flux-limited samples for which Doppler factors have been estimated in a variety of ways (equipartition, variability + equipartition, inverse Compton dominance) on a blazar-by-blazar basis. By comparing the simulated and data-estimated Doppler factor distributions in each case, we evaluate the different methods of estimating blazar Doppler factors. We find that the variability Doppler factors assuming equipartition are the ones in the best agreement with our statistical model, whereas the inverse Compton Doppler factor method is only suitable for FSRQs.

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I. Liodakis and V. Pavlidou
Tue, 9 Dec 14

Comments: 10 pages, 14 figures, comments welcome