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MHD Accretion Disk Winds: The Key to AGN Phenomenology?

By Demosthenes Kazanas


Accretion disks are the structures which mediate the conversion of the kinetic energy of plasma accreting onto a compact object (assumed here to be a black hole) into the observed radiation, in the process of removing the plasma’s angular momentum so that it can accrete onto the black hole. There has been mounting evidence that these structures are accompanied by winds whose extent spans a large number of decades in radius. Most importantly, it was found that in order to satisfy the winds’ observational constraints, their mass flux must increase with the distance from the accreting object; therefore, the mass accretion rate on the disk must decrease with the distance from the gravitating object, with most mass available for accretion expelled before reaching the gravitating object’s vicinity. This reduction in mass flux with radius leads to accretion disk properties that can account naturally for the AGN relative luminosities of their Optical-UV and X-ray components in terms of a single parameter, the dimensionless mass accretion rate. Because this critical parameter is the dimensionless mass accretion rate, it is argued that these models are applicable to accreting black holes across the mass scale, from galactic to extragalactic

Topics: accretion disks, MHD winds, accreting black holes, Astronomy, QB1-991
Publisher: MDPI AG
Year: 2019
DOI identifier: 10.3390/galaxies7010013
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