Volume 504, Number 2, September III 2009
|Page(s)||321 - 329|
|Published online||09 July 2009|
Spectrum of plasma modes and relevant transport processes in astrophysical disks
Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA e-mail: email@example.com
Accepted: 29 June 2009
A simple plasma disk structure imbedded in a magnetic field and in the (prevalent) gravity of a central object is shown to be subject to the excitation of significant axisymmetric and tridimensional modes. The key factors involved in the relevant instability are the plasma pressure vertical gradient and the rotation frequency (around the central object) radial gradient. A modestly peaked vertical profile of the plasma temperature is shown to drive a “thermo-rotational instability” with considerable growth rates. Unstable modes are found as well for “flat” temperature profiles. The tri-dimensional tightly wound spirals that are found have properties that, unlike the familiar galactic spirals, depend on the vertical profiles of their amplitudes. Both radially standing and convective (quasi-modes) spirals are identified. Within the considered spectrum, unstable modes are shown to produce opposing fluxes of particles and thermal energies in the vertical direction. Thus disks with relatively flat vertical temperature profiles can expel particles (winds) from the equatorial plane while transporting thermal energy inward. An effective “diffusion” coefficient, for energy and angular momentum, is derived from the structure of radially convective spiral modes and shown to be consistent with significant radial transport rates.
Key words: accretion, accretion disks / black hole physics / magnetohydrodynamics (MHD) / instabilities / magnetic fields / gravitation
© ESO, 2009
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