Volume 649, May 2021
|Number of page(s)
|18 May 2021
Nonthermal processes in hot accretion flows onto supermassive black holes: An inhomogeneous model
Instituto Argentino de Radioastronomía (IAR, CONICET/CIC/UNLP), C.C.5, (1894) Villa Elisa, Buenos Aires, Argentina
2 Facultad de Ciencias Astronómicas y Geofísicas, Universidad Nacional de La Plata, Paseo del Bosque s/n, 1900 La Plata, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Accepted: 14 February 2021
Context. Many low-redshift active galactic nuclei harbor a supermassive black hole accreting matter at low or medium rates. At such rates, the accretion flow usually consists of a cold optically thick disk, plus a hot, low density, collisionless corona. In the latter component, charged particles can be accelerated to high energies by various mechanisms.
Aims. We aim to investigate, in detail, nonthermal processes in hot accretion flows onto supermassive black holes, covering a wide range of accretion rates and luminosities.
Methods. We developed a model consisting of a thin Shakura-Sunyaev disk plus an inner hot accretion flow or corona, modeled as a radiatively inefficient accretion flow, where nonthermal processes take place. We solved the transport equations for relativistic particles and estimated the spectral energy distributions resulting from nonthermal interactions between the various particle species and the fields in the source.
Results. We covered a variety of scenarios, from low accretion rates up to 10% of the Eddington limit, and identified the relevant cooling mechanisms in each case. The presence of hadrons in the hot flow is decisive for the spectral shape, giving rise to secondary particles and gamma-ray cascades. We applied our model to the source IC 4329A, confirming earlier results which showed evidence of nonthermal particles in the corona.
Key words: relativistic processes / radiation mechanisms: non-thermal / black hole physics / accretion, accretion disks / galaxies: active
© ESO 2021
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