Vortices in Thin, Compressible, Unmagnetized Disks

Bryan M. Johnson, Charles F. Gammie
2005 Astrophysical Journal  
We consider the formation and evolution of vortices in a hydrodynamic shearing-sheet model. The evolution is done numerically using a version of the ZEUS code. Consistent with earlier results, an injected vorticity field evolves into a set of long-lived vortices, each of which has a radial extent comparable to the local scale height. But we also find that the resulting velocity field has a positive shear stress, . This effect appears only at high resolution. The transport, which decays with
more » ... as t^-1/2, arises primarily because the vortices drive compressive motions. This result suggests a possible mechanism for angular momentum transport in low-ionization disks, with two important caveats: a mechanism must be found to inject vorticity into the disk, and the vortices must not decay rapidly due to three-dimensional instabilities.
doi:10.1086/497358 fatcat:wcgilh7zyvafrp2jqcc3swya6u