EDP Sciences
Free access
Volume 413, Number 2, January II 2004
Page(s) 403 - 414
Section Cosmology
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1051/0004-6361:20034008

A&A 413, 403-414 (2004)
DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361:20034008

Accretion disc dynamos opened up by external magnetic fields

D. Moss1 and A. Shukurov2

1  Department of Mathematics, University of Manchester, Manchester M13 9PL, UK
2  School of of Mathematics and Statistics, University of Newcastle, Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 7RU, UK
    e-mail: anvar.shukurov@ncl.ac.uk

(Received 26 June 2003 / Accepted 3 October 2003)

We show that a relatively weak poloidal external magnetic field, imposed in the outer parts of a Keplerian accretion disc, can open magnetic lines of a much stronger magnetic field generated by the dynamo in the inner disc. The resulting magnetic configuration can be favourable for launching a centrifugally driven wind. Even for a relatively weak external magnetic field (with energy density in excess of about only 10% of the thermal energy density at the outer disc radius) the geometry of the poloidal field in the disc neigbourhood is almost independent of the dynamo action, and is determined by the external field. The radial profile of the poloidal magnetic field on the disc surface is similar to that in the self-similar solution of Blandford & Payne (1982). We conclude that poloidal fields resulting from dynamo action can be important for launching a magneto-centrifugally driven outflow in accretion discs that occur in weakly magnetized environments, i.e. where an external field is too weak to be important. However, even a relatively weak external field can be wound up by the differential rotation to give a much stronger azimuthal field, and so modify dynamo action in the disc.

Key words: accretion, accretion disks -- magnetic fields -- magnetohydrodynamics (MHD) -- turbulence

Offprint request: D. Moss, moss@ma.man.ac.uk

SIMBAD Objects in preparation

© ESO 2004