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The runaway instability in general relativistic accretion discs

Korobkin, O. and Abdikamalov, E. and Stergioulas, N. and Schnetter, E. and Zink, B. and Rosswog, S. and Ott, C. D. (2013) The runaway instability in general relativistic accretion discs. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 431 (1). pp. 349-354. ISSN 0035-8711.

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When an accretion disc falls prey to the runaway instability, a large portion of its mass is devoured by the black hole within a few dynamical times. Despite decades of effort, it is still unclear under what conditions such an instability can occur. The technically most advanced relativistic simulations to date were unable to find a clear sign for the onset of the instability. In this work, we present three-dimensional relativistic hydrodynamics simulations of accretion discs around black holes in dynamical space–time. We focus on the configurations that are expected to be particularly prone to the development of this instability. We demonstrate, for the first time, that the fully self-consistent general relativistic evolution does indeed produce a runaway instability.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription Paper
Korobkin, O.0000-0003-4156-5342
Schnetter, E.0000-0002-4518-9017
Ott, C. D.0000-0003-4993-2055
Alternate Title:The runaway instability in general-relativistic accretion disks
Additional Information:© 2013 The Authors. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Royal Astronomical Society. Accepted 2013 January 27. Received 2013 January 24; in original form 2012 October 1. First published online: February 23, 2013. We acknowledge stimulating discussions with P. Diener, P. Montero, C. Reisswig, M. Scheel, B. Szilágyi and J. Tohline. This work is supported by the National Science Foundation under grant numbers AST-1212170, PHY-1151197, PHY-1212460 and OCI-0905046, by the German Research Foundation grant DFGRO-3399, AOBJ-584282 and by the Sherman Fairchild and Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. NS acknowledges support by an Excellence Grant of the research committee of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki. Supercomputing simulations for this paper were performed on the Compute Canada SHARCNET cluster ‘Orca’ (project CFZ-411-AA), Caltech compute cluster ‘Zwicky’ (NSF MRI award No. PHY-0960291), on the NSF XSEDE network under grant TG-PHY100033, on machines of the Louisiana Optical Network Initiative under grant loni_numrel07 and at the National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center (NERSC), which is supported by the Office of Science of the US Department of Energy under contract DE-AC03-76SF00098.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
NSFPHY- 1212460
Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG)DFG RO-3399
Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG)AOBJ-584282
Sherman Fairchild FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Alfred P. Sloan FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Aristotle University of ThessalonikiUNSPECIFIED
Compute CanadaCFZ-411-AA
Louisiana Optical Network Initiativeloni numrel07
Department of Energy (DOE)DE-AC03-76SF00098
Subject Keywords:accretion, accretion disks - black hole physics - gravitation - instabilities
Issue or Number:1
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20130212-090441321
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:O. Korobkin,E. Abdikamalov,N. Stergioulas,E. Schnetter,B. Zink,S. Rosswog,and C. D. Ott The runaway instability in general relativistic accretion discs MNRAS (May 1, 2013) Vol. 431 349-354 first published online February 23, 2013 doi:10.1093/mnras/stt166
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:36865
Deposited By: JoAnn Boyd
Deposited On:13 Feb 2013 19:28
Last Modified:09 Mar 2020 13:19

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