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The slimming effect of advection on black-hole accretion flows

Journal article
Authors J. P. Lasota
R. S. S. Vieira
A. Sadowski
R. Narayan
Marek A Abramowicz
Published in Astronomy & Astrophysics
Volume 587
Pages article no. A13
ISSN 1432-0746
Publication year 2016
Published at Department of Physics (GU)
Pages article no. A13
Language en
Keywords accretion, accretion disks, black hole physics, relativistic magnetohydrodynamic simulations, super-eddington accretion, x-ray sources, dominated accretion, thick accretion, vertical structure, polish doughnuts, tidal disruption, disk model, jets
Subject categories Astronomy, Astrophysics and Cosmology


Context. At super-Eddington rates accretion flows onto black holes have been described as slim (aspect ratio H/R less than or similar to 1) or thick (H/R > 1) discs, also known as tori or (Polish) doughnuts. The relation between the two descriptions has never been established, but it was commonly believed that at sufficiently high accretion rates slim discs inflate, becoming thick. Aims. We wish to establish under what conditions slim accretion flows become thick. Methods. We use analytical equations, numerical 1 + 1 schemes, and numerical radiative MHD codes to describe and compare various accretion flow models at very high accretion rates. Results. We find that the dominant effect of advection at high accretion rates precludes slim discs becoming thick. Conclusions. At super-Eddington rates accretion flows around black holes can always be considered slim rather than thick.

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