Compton scattering in relativistic flow

  • Thread starter dobbykins
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For reference: http://arxiv.org/abs/astro-ph/9912312" [Broken]

The paper linked above notes in the introduction:
...a photon is more likely to suffer a scat-
tering from an electron that is moving toward it, rather
than away from it (the probability of scattering is propor-
tional to the Doppler factor 1 − cos θ v/c, where v is the
electron velocity and θ is the angle at which the photon
and electron encounter).
The authors are performing this calculation for an isotropic electron distribution. However, for my work, I am considering an electron population with a relativistic macroscopic bulk flow. That is, the electrons are considered to be isotropic in their frame, but they are all moving in a (generally) single direction in the lab frame.

It seems intuitive to me that the Doppler factor, as above, would modify the mean free path of a photon in the electron flow. So, if a photon is traveling in the same direction as the electrons, it would have a longer mean free path, whereas if the photon is traveling against the electron bulk flow, it would have a shorter mean free path and scatter sooner.

Please correct me if I'm wrong (or confirm this if I'm right) and explain your reasoning. Thanks in advance.
 
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