Simulations of recoiling black holes: adaptive mesh refinement and radiative transfer
1 LUTH, CNRS UMR 8102, Observatoire de Paris, Université Paris Diderot, 92190 Meudon, France
2 Institute for Theoretical Physics, Goethe-University, 60438 Frankfurt am Main, Germany
3 Frankfurt Institute for Advanced Studies, 60438 Frankfurt am Main, Germany
Received: 27 June 2016
Accepted: 16 October 2016
Context. In many astrophysical phenomena, and especially in those that involve the high-energy regimes that always accompany the astronomical phenomenology of black holes and neutron stars, physical conditions that are achieved are extreme in terms of speeds, temperatures, and gravitational fields. In such relativistic regimes, numerical calculations are the only tool to accurately model the dynamics of the flows and the transport of radiation in the accreting matter.
Aims. We here continue our effort of modelling the behaviour of matter when it orbits or is accreted onto a generic black hole by developing a new numerical code that employs advanced techniques geared towards solving the equations of general-relativistic hydrodynamics.
Methods. More specifically, the new code employs a number of high-resolution shock-capturing Riemann solvers and reconstruction algorithms, exploiting the enhanced accuracy and the reduced computational cost of adaptive mesh-refinement (AMR) techniques. In addition, the code makes use of sophisticated ray-tracing libraries that, coupled with general-relativistic radiation-transfer calculations, allow us to accurately compute the electromagnetic emissions from such accretion flows.
Results. We validate the new code by presenting an extensive series of stationary accretion flows either in spherical or axial symmetry that are performed either in two or three spatial dimensions. In addition, we consider the highly nonlinear scenario of a recoiling black hole produced in the merger of a supermassive black-hole binary interacting with the surrounding circumbinary disc. In this way, we can present for the first time ray-traced images of the shocked fluid and the light curve resulting from consistent general-relativistic radiation-transport calculations from this process.
Conclusions. The work presented here lays the ground for the development of a generic computational infrastructure employing AMR techniques to accurately and self-consistently calculate general-relativistic accretion flows onto compact objects. In addition to the accurate handling of the matter, we provide a self-consistent electromagnetic emission from these scenarios by solving the associated radiative-transfer problem. While magnetic fields are currently excluded from our analysis, the tools presented here can have a number of applications to study accretion flows onto black holes or neutron stars.
Key words: accretion, accretion disks / black hole physics / methods: numerical / radiation: dynamics / relativistic processes
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