Three‐dimensional Magnetohydrodynamic Simulations of Radiatively Inefficient Accretion Flows

Igor V. Igumenshchev, Ramesh Narayan, Marek A. Abramowicz
2003 Astrophysical Journal  
We present three-dimensional MHD simulations of rotating radiatively inefficient accretion flows onto black holes. In the simulations, we continuously inject magnetized matter into the computational domain near the outer boundary, and we run the calculations long enough for the resulting accretion flow to reach a quasi-steady state. We have studied two limiting cases for the geometry of the injected magnetic field: pure toroidal field and pure poloidal field. In the case of toroidal field
more » ... ion, the accreting matter forms a nearly axisymmetric, geometrically-thick, turbulent accretion disk. The disk resembles in many respects the convection-dominated accretion flows found in previous numerical and analytical investigations of viscous hydrodynamic flows. Models with poloidal field injection evolve through two distinct phases. In an initial transient phase, the flow forms a relatively flattened, quasi-Keplerian disk with a hot corona and a bipolar outflow. However, when the flow later achieves steady state, it changes in character completely. The magnetized accreting gas becomes two-phase, with most of the volume being dominated by a strong dipolar magnetic field from which a thermal low-density wind flows out. Accretion occurs mainly via narrow slowly-rotating radial streams which 'diffuse' through the magnetic field with the help of magnetic reconnection events.
doi:10.1086/375769 fatcat:omug2tcoyja6vdjtuwmhlkiqvm