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  1. ABSTRACT We present 3D general relativistic magnetohydrodynamic simulations of zero angular momentum accretion around a rapidly rotating black hole, modified by the presence of initially uniform magnetic fields. We consider several angles between the magnetic field direction and the black hole spin. In the resulting flows, the mid-plane dynamics are governed by magnetic reconnection-driven turbulence in a magnetically arrested (or a nearly arrested) state. Electromagnetic jets with outflow efficiencies ∼10–200 per cent occupy the polar regions, reaching several hundred gravitational radii before they dissipate due to the kink instability. The jet directions fluctuate in time and can be tilted by as much as ∼30○ with respect to black hole spin, but this tilt does not depend strongly on the tilt of the initial magnetic field. A jet forms even when there is no initial net vertical magnetic flux since turbulent, horizon-scale fluctuations can generate a net vertical field locally. Peak jet power is obtained for an initial magnetic field tilted by 40○–80○ with respect to the black hole spin because this maximizes the amount of magnetic flux that can reach the black hole. These simulations may be a reasonable model for low luminosity black hole accretion flows such as Sgr A* or M87. 
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  2. ABSTRACT Heating of virialized gas by streaming cosmic rays (CRs) may be energetically important in galaxy haloes, groups, and clusters. We present a linear thermal stability analysis of plasmas heated by streaming CRs. We separately treat equilibria with and without background gradients, and with and without gravity. We include both CR streaming and diffusion along the magnetic-field direction. Thermal stability depends strongly on the ratio of CR pressure to gas pressure, which determines whether modes are isobaric or isochoric. Modes with $\boldsymbol {k \cdot B }\ne 0$ are strongly affected by CR diffusion. When the streaming time is shorter than the CR diffusion time, thermally unstable modes (with $\boldsymbol {k \cdot B }\ne 0$) are waves propagating at a speed ∝ the Alfvén speed. Halo gas in photoionization equilibrium is thermally stable independent of CR pressure, while gas in collisional ionization equilibrium is unstable for physically realistic parameters. In gravitationally stratified plasmas, the oscillation frequency of thermally overstable modes can be higher in the presence of CR streaming than the buoyancy/free-fall frequency. This may modify the critical tcool/tff at which multiphase gas is present. The criterion for convective instability of a stratified, CR-heated medium can be written in the familiar Schwarzschild form dseff/dz < 0, where seff is an effective entropy involving the gas and CR pressures. We discuss the implications of our results for the thermal evolution and multiphase structure of galaxy haloes, groups, and clusters. 
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  3. ABSTRACT We study the flow structure in 3D magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) simulations of accretion on to Sagittarius A* via the magnetized winds of the orbiting Wolf–Rayet stars. These simulations cover over 3 orders of magnitude in radius to reach ≈300 gravitational radii, with only one poorly constrained parameter (the magnetic field in the stellar winds). Even for winds with relatively weak magnetic fields (e.g. plasma β ∼ 106), flux freezing/compression in the inflowing gas amplifies the field to β ∼ few well before it reaches the event horizon. Overall, the dynamics, accretion rate, and spherically averaged flow profiles (e.g. density, velocity) in our MHD simulations are remarkably similar to analogous hydrodynamic simulations. We attribute this to the broad distribution of angular momentum provided by the stellar winds, which sources accretion even absent much angular momentum transport. We find that the magneto-rotational instability is not important because of (i) strong magnetic fields that are amplified by flux freezing/compression, and (ii) the rapid inflow/outflow times of the gas and inefficient radiative cooling preclude circularization. The primary effect of magnetic fields is that they drive a polar outflow that is absent in hydrodynamics. The dynamical state of the accretion flow found in our simulations is unlike the rotationally supported tori used as initial conditions in horizon scale simulations, which could have implications for models being used to interpret Event Horizon Telescope and GRAVITY observations of Sgr A*. 
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  4. ABSTRACT We present models of Galactic Centre emission in the vicinity of Sagittarius A* that use parametrizations of the electron temperature or energy density. These models include those inspired by two-temperature general relativistic magnetohydrodynamic (GRMHD) simulations as well as jet-motivated prescriptions generalizing equipartition of particle and magnetic energies. From these models, we calculate spectra and images and classify them according to their distinct observational features. Some models produce morphological and spectral features, e.g. image sizes, the sub-mm bump, and low-frequency spectral slope compatible with observations. Models with spectra consistent with observations produce the most compact images, with the most prominent, asymmetric photon rings. Limb-brightened outflows are also visible in many models. Of all the models we consider, that which represents the current data the best is one in which electrons are relativistically hot when magnetic pressure is larger than the thermal pressure, but cold (i.e. negligibly contributing to the emission) otherwise. This work is part of a series also applying the ‘observing’ simulations methodology to near-horizon regions of supermassive black holes in M87 and 3C 279. 
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  5. null (Ed.)
    ABSTRACT We present a systematic shearing-box investigation of magnetorotational instability (MRI)-driven turbulence in a weakly collisional plasma by including the effects of an anisotropic pressure stress, i.e. anisotropic (Braginskii) viscosity. We constrain the pressure anisotropy (Δp) to lie within the stability bounds that would be otherwise imposed by kinetic microinstabilities. We explore a broad region of parameter space by considering different Reynolds numbers and magnetic-field configurations, including net vertical flux, net toroidal-vertical flux, and zero net flux. Remarkably, we find that the level of turbulence and angular-momentum transport are not greatly affected by large anisotropic viscosities: the Maxwell and Reynolds stresses do not differ much from the MHD result. Angular-momentum transport in Braginskii MHD still depends strongly on isotropic dissipation, e.g. the isotropic magnetic Prandtl number, even when the anisotropic viscosity is orders of magnitude larger than the isotropic diffusivities. Braginskii viscosity nevertheless changes the flow structure, rearranging the turbulence to largely counter the parallel rate of strain from the background shear. We also show that the volume-averaged pressure anisotropy and anisotropic viscous transport decrease with increasing isotropic Reynolds number (Re); e.g. in simulations with net vertical field, the ratio of anisotropic to Maxwell stress (αA/αM) decreases from ∼0.5 to ∼0.1 as we move from Re ∼ 103 to Re ∼ 104, while 〈4$\pi$Δp/B2〉 → 0. Anisotropic transport may thus become negligible at high Re. Anisotropic viscosity nevertheless becomes the dominant source of heating at large Re, accounting for ${\gtrsim } 50 {{\ \rm per\ cent}}$ of the plasma heating. We conclude by briefly discussing the implications of our results for radiatively inefficient accretion flows on to black holes. 
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