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  1. Abstract

    The conventional accretion disk lore is that magnetized turbulence is the principal angular momentum transport process that drives accretion. However, when dynamically important large-scale magnetic fields thread an accretion disk, they can produce mass and angular momentum outflows, known as winds,that also drive accretion. Yet, the relative importance of turbulent and wind-driven angular momentum transport is still poorly understood. To probe this question, we analyze a long-duration (1.2 × 105rg/c) simulation of a rapidly rotating (a= 0.9) black hole feeding from a thick (H/r∼ 0.3), adiabatic, magnetically arrested disk (MAD), whose dynamically important magnetic field regulates mass inflow and drives both uncollimated and collimated outflows (i.e., winds and jets, respectively). By carefully disentangling the various angular momentum transport processes within the system, we demonstrate the novel result that disk winds and disk turbulence both extract roughly equal amounts of angular momentum from the disk. We find cumulative angular momentum and mass accretion outflow rates ofL̇r0.9andṀr0.4, respectively. This result suggests that understanding both turbulent and laminar stresses is key to understanding the evolution of systems where geometrically thick MADs can occur, such as the hard state of X-ray binaries, low-luminosity active galactic nuclei, some tidal disruption events, and possibly gamma-ray bursts.

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  2. Abstract

    The spin of a newly formed black hole (BH) at the center of a massive star evolves from its natal value due to two competing processes: accretion of gas angular momentum that increases the spin and extraction of BH angular momentum by outflows that decreases the spin. Ultimately, the final, equilibrium spin is set by a balance between both processes. In order for the BH to launch relativistic jets and power aγ-ray burst (GRB), the BH magnetic field needs to be dynamically important. Thus, we consider the case of a magnetically arrested disk (MAD) driving the spin evolution of the BH. By applying the semianalytic MAD BH spin evolution model of Lowell et al. to collapsars, we show that if the BH accretes ∼20% of its initial mass, its dimensionless spin inevitably reaches small values,a≲ 0.2. For such spins, and for mass accretion rates inferred from collapsar simulations, we show that our semianalytic model reproduces the energetics of typical GRB jets,Ljet∼ 1050erg s−1. We show that our semianalytic model reproduces the nearly constant power of typical GRB jets. If the MAD onset is delayed, this allows powerful jets at the high end of the GRB luminosity distribution,Ljet∼ 1052erg s−1, but the final spin remains low,a≲ 0.3. These results are consistent with the low spins inferred from gravitational wave detections of binary BH mergers. In a companion paper by Gottlieb et al., we use GRB observations to constrain the natal BH spin to bea≃ 0.2.

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  3. Abstract

    Spinning supermassive black holes (BHs) in active galactic nuclei magnetically launch relativistic collimated outflows, or jets. Without angular momentum supply, such jets are thought to perish within 3 orders of magnitude in distance from the BH, well before reaching kiloparsec scales. We study the survival of such jets at the largest scale separation to date, via 3D general relativistic magnetohydrodynamic simulations of rapidly spinning BHs immersed into uniform zero-angular-momentum gas threaded by a weak vertical magnetic field. We place the gas outside the BH sphere of influence, or the Bondi radius, chosen to be much larger than the BH gravitational radius,RB= 103Rg. The BH develops dynamically important large-scale magnetic fields, forms a magnetically arrested disk (MAD), and launches relativistic jets that propagate well outsideRBand suppress BH accretion to 1.5% of the Bondi rate,ṀB. Thus, low-angular-momentum accretion in the MAD state can form large-scale jets in Fanaroff–Riley (FR) type I and II galaxies. Subsequently, the disk shrinks and exits the MAD state: barely a disk (BAD), it rapidly precesses, whips the jets around, globally destroys them, and lets 5%–10% ofṀBreach the BH. Thereafter, the disk starts rocking back and forth by angles 90°–180°: the rocking accretion disk (RAD) launches weak intermittent jets that spread their energy over a large area and suppress BH accretion to ≲2%ṀB. Because the BAD and RAD states tangle up the jets and destroy them well insideRB, they are promising candidates for the more abundant, but less luminous, class of FR0 galaxies.

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  4. Abstract

    Accreting supermassive black holes (SMBHs) produce highly magnetized relativistic jets that tend to collimate gradually as they propagate outward. However, recent radio interferometric observations of the 3C 84 galaxy reveal a stunning, cylindrical jet already at several hundred SMBH gravitational radii,r≳ 350rg. We explore how such extreme collimation emerges via a suite of 3D general relativistic magnetohydrodynamic simulations. We consider an SMBH surrounded by a magnetized torus immersed in a constant-density ambient medium that starts at the edge of the SMBH sphere of influence, chosen to be much larger than the SMBH gravitational radius,rB= 103rg. We find that radiatively inefficient accretion flows (e.g., M87) produce winds that collimate the jets into parabolas near the black hole. After the disk winds stop collimating the jets atrrB, they turn conical. Once outsiderB, the jets run into the ambient medium and form backflows that collimate the jets into cylinders some distance beyondrB. Interestingly, for radiatively efficient accretion, as in 3C 84, the radiative cooling saps the energy out of the disk winds; at early times, they cannot efficiently collimate the jets, which skip the initial parabolic collimation stage, start out conical near the SMBH, and turn into cylinders already atr≃ 300rg, as observed in 3C 84. Over time, the jet power remains approximately constant, whereas the mass accretion rate increases; the winds grow in strength and start to collimate the jets, which become quasi-parabolic near the base, and the transition point to a nearly cylindrical jet profile moves outward while remaining insiderB.

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  5. Abstract

    Black hole (BH) spin can play an important role in galaxy evolution by controlling the amount of energy and momentum ejected from near the BH into the surroundings. We focus on radiatively inefficient and geometrically thick magnetically arrested disks (MADs) that can launch strong BH-powered jets. With an appropriately chosen adiabatic index, these systems can describe either the low-luminosity or highly super-Eddington BH accretion regimes. Using a suite of 3D general relativistic magnetohydrodynamic simulations, we find that for any initial spin, an MAD rapidly spins down the BH to the equilibrium spin of 0 <aeq≲ 0.1, very low compared toaeq= 1 for the standard thin luminous (Novikov–Thorne) disks. This implies that rapidly accreting (super-Eddington) BHs fed by MADs tend to lose most of their rotational energy to magnetized relativistic outflows. In an MAD, a BH only needs to accrete 20% of its own mass to spin down froma= 1–0.2. We construct a semi-analytic model of BH spin evolution in MADs by taking into account the torques on the BH due to both the hydrodynamic disk and electromagnetic jet components, and find that the low value ofaeqis due to both the jets slowing down the BH rotation and the disk losing a large fraction of its angular momentum to outflows. Our results have crucial implications for how BH spins evolve in active galaxies and other systems such as collapsars, where the BH spin-down timescale can be short enough to significantly affect the evolution of gamma-ray emitting BH-powered jets.

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  6. Abstract

    The angular momentum of gas feeding a black hole (BH) may be misaligned with respect to the BH spin, resulting in a tilted accretion disk. Rotation of the BH drags the surrounding spacetime, manifesting as Lense–Thirring torques that lead to disk precession and warping. We study these processes by simulating a thin (H/r= 0.02), highly tilted (=65°) accretion disk around a rapidly rotating (a= 0.9375) BH at extremely high resolutions, which we performed using the general-relativistic magnetohydrodynamic codeH-AMR. The disk becomes significantly warped and continuously tears into two individually precessing subdisks. We find that mass accretion rates far exceed the standardα-viscosity expectations. We identify two novel dissipation mechanisms specific to warped disks that are the main drivers of accretion, distinct from the local turbulent stresses that are usually thought to drive accretion. In particular, we identify extreme scale height oscillations that occur twice an orbit throughout our disk. When the scale height compresses, “nozzle” shocks form, dissipating orbital energy and driving accretion. Separate from this phenomenon, there is also extreme dissipation at the location of the tear. This leads to the formation of low-angular momentum “streamers” that rain down onto the inner subdisk, shocking it. The addition of low-angular momentum gas to the inner subdisk causes it to rapidly accrete, even when it is transiently aligned with the BH spin and thus unwarped. These mechanisms, if general, significantly modify the standard accretion paradigm. Additionally, they may drive structural changes on much shorter timescales than expected inα-disks, potentially explaining some of the extreme variability observed in active galactic nuclei.

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  7. Abstract Upcoming LIGO–Virgo–KAGRA (LVK) observing runs are expected to detect a variety of inspiralling gravitational-wave (GW) events that come from black hole and neutron star binary mergers. Detection of noninspiral GW sources is also anticipated. We report the discovery of a new class of noninspiral GW sources—the end states of massive stars—that can produce the brightest simulated stochastic GW burst signal in the LVK bands known to date, and could be detectable in LVK run A+. Some dying massive stars launch bipolar relativistic jets, which inflate a turbulent energetic bubble—cocoon—inside of the star. We simulate such a system using state-of-the-art 3D general relativistic magnetohydrodynamic simulations and show that these cocoons emit quasi-isotropic GW emission in the LVK band, ∼10–100 Hz, over a characteristic jet activity timescale ∼10–100 s. Our first-principles simulations show that jets exhibit a wobbling behavior, in which case cocoon-powered GWs might be detected already in LVK run A+, but it is more likely that these GWs will be detected by the third-generation GW detectors with an estimated rate of ∼10 events yr −1 . The detection rate drops to ∼1% of that value if all jets were to feature a traditional axisymmetric structure instead of a wobble. Accompanied by electromagnetic emission from the energetic core-collapse supernova and the cocoon, we predict that collapsars are powerful multimessenger events. 
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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available July 1, 2024
  8. Abstract

    A black hole (BH) traveling through a uniform, gaseous medium is described by Bondi–Hoyle–Lyttleton (BHL) accretion. If the medium is magnetized, then the black hole can produce relativistic outflows. We performed the first 3D, general-relativistic magnetohydrodynamic simulations of BHL accretion onto rapidly rotating black holes using theH-AMRcode, where we mainly varied the strength of a background magnetic field that threads the medium. We found that the ensuing accretion continuously drags the magnetic flux to the BH, which accumulates near the event horizon until it becomes dynamically important. Depending on the strength of the background magnetic field, the BHs can sometimes launch relativistic jets with high enough power to drill out of the inner accretion flow, become bent by the headwind, and escape to large distances. For stronger background magnetic fields, the jets are continuously powered, while at weaker field strengths they are intermittent, turning on and off depending on the fluctuating gas and magnetic flux distributions near the event horizon. We find that our jets reach extremely high efficiencies of ∼100%–300%, even in the absence of an accretion disk. We also calculated the drag forces exerted by the gas onto to the BH and found that the presence of magnetic fields causes the drag forces to be much less efficient than in unmagnetized BHL accretion. They can even sometimes become negative, accelerating the BH rather than slowing it down. Our results extend classical BHL accretion to rotating BHs moving through magnetized media, and demonstrate that accretion and drag are significantly altered in this environment.

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  9. Abstract

    Long-duration gamma-ray bursts (lGRBs) originate in relativistic collimated outflows—jets—that drill their way out of collapsing massive stars. Accurately modeling this process requires realistic stellar profiles for the jets to propagate through and break out of. Most previous studies have used simple power laws or pre-collapse models for massive stars. However, the relevant stellar profile for lGRB models is in fact that of a star after its core has collapsed to form a compact object. To self-consistently compute such a stellar profile, we use the open-source code GR1D to simulate the core-collapse process for a suite of low-metallicity rotating massive stellar progenitors that have undergone chemically homogeneous evolution. Our models span a range of zero-age main-sequence (ZAMS) masses:MZAMS= 13, 18, 21, 25, 35, 40, and 45M. All of these models, at the onset of core-collapse, feature steep density profiles,ρrα, withα≈ 2.5, which would result in jets that are inconsistent with lGRB observables. We follow the collapses of four of the seven models until they form black holes (BHs) and the other three models until they form proto-neutron stars (PNSs). We find, across all models, that the density profile outside the newly formed BH or PNS is well represented by a flatter power law withα≈ 1.35–1.55. Such flat density profiles are conducive to the successful formation and breakout of BH-powered jets and are, in fact, required to reproduce observable properties of lGRBs. Future models of lGRBs should be initialized with shallower post-collapse stellar profiles, like those presented here, instead of the much steeper pre-collapse profiles that are typically used.

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  10. Abstract X-shaped radio galaxies (XRGs) produce misaligned X-shaped jet pairs and make up ≲10% of radio galaxies. XRGs are thought to emerge in galaxies featuring a binary supermassive black hole (SMBH), SMBH merger, or large-scale ambient medium asymmetry. We demonstrate that XRG morphology can naturally form without such special, preexisting conditions. Our 3D general-relativistic magnetohydrodynamic (GRMHD) simulation for the first time follows magnetized rotating gas from outside the SMBH sphere of influence of radius R B to the SMBH of gravitational radius R g at the largest scale separation, R B / R g = 10 3 , to date. Initially, our axisymmetric system of constant-density hot gas contains a weak vertical magnetic field and rotates in the equatorial plane of a rapidly spinning SMBH. We seed the gas with small-scale 2% level pressure perturbations. Infalling gas forms an accretion disk, and the SMBH launches relativistically magnetized collimated jets reaching well outside R B . Under the pressure of the infalling gas, the jets intermittently turn on and off, erratically wobble, and inflate pairs of cavities in different directions, resembling an X-shaped jet morphology. Synthetic X-ray images reveal multiple pairs of jet-powered shocks and cavities. Large-scale magnetic flux accumulates on the SMBH, becomes dynamically important, and leads to a magnetically arrested disk state. The SMBH accretes at 2% of the Bondi rate ( M ̇ ≃ 2.4 × 10 − 3 M ⊙ yr − 1 for M87*) and launches twin jets at η = 150% efficiency. These jets are powerful enough ( P jets ≃ 2 × 10 44 erg s −1 ) to escape along the SMBH spin axis and end the short-lived intermittent jet state, whose transient nature can account for the rarity of XRGs. 
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