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Tearing up a misaligned accretion disc with a binary companion

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journal contribution
posted on 01.02.2016, 10:14 by Suzan Dogan, C. Nixon, Andrew Robert King, D. J. Price
Accretion discs are common in binary systems, and they are often found to be misaligned with respect to the binary orbit. The gravitational torque from a companion induces nodal precession in misaligned disc orbits. We calculate whether this precession is strong enough to overcome the internal disc torques communicating angular momentum. For typical parameters precession wins: the disc breaks into distinct planes that precess effectively independently. We run hydrodynamical simulations to check these results, and confirm that disc breaking is widespread and generally enhances accretion on to the central object. This applies in many cases of astrophysical accretion, e.g. supermassive black hole binaries and X-ray binaries.

History

Citation

Monthly Notices Of The Royal Astronomical Society, 2015, 449 (2), pp. 1251-1258 (8)

Author affiliation

/Organisation/COLLEGE OF SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING/Department of Physics and Astronomy

Version

VoR (Version of Record)

Published in

Monthly Notices Of The Royal Astronomical Society

Publisher

Oxford University Press (OUP)

issn

0035-8711

eissn

1365-2966

Acceptance date

16/02/2015

Copyright date

2015

Available date

01/02/2016

Publisher version

http://mnras.oxfordjournals.org/content/449/2/1251

Language

en