A Caltech Library Service

The fuelling of active galactic nuclei

Shlosman, Isaac and Begelman, Mitchell C. and Frank, Julian (1990) The fuelling of active galactic nuclei. Nature, 345 (6277). pp. 676-686. ISSN 0028-0836. doi:10.1038/345679a0.

Full text is not posted in this repository. Consult Related URLs below.

Use this Persistent URL to link to this item:


We review accretion mechanisms for powering the central engines of active galactic nuclei (AGN) and possible sources of fuel. Local sources, such as dense star clusters, require extreme set of parameters. Instead we argue that the interstellar matter in the main body of the host galaxy is channelled towards the centre and address the problem of angular momentum transport. Thin accretion disks are not a viable means of delivering fuel to luminous AGN on scales much larger than a parsec because of the long inflow time and effects of self-gravity. There are also serious obstacles to maintaining and regulating geometrically thick, hot accretion flows. We emphasize the role of non-axisymmetric perturbations of the gravitational potential on galactic scales and their triggers: galaxy interactions and internal self-gravitational instabilities. We outline a unified model for fuelling AGN, in which the inflow on large scales is driven by gravitational torques, and on small scales forms a mildly self-gravitating disk of clouds with inflow driven by magnetic torques or cloud–cloud collisions.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription
Additional Information:© 1990 Nature Publishing Group. We thank our colleagues, especially S. Phinney and T. de Zeeuw, for fruitful discussions. This work was supported by the NSF, NASA, the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation and DFG (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft).
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Alfred P. Sloan FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG)UNSPECIFIED
Issue or Number:6277
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20150513-093818282
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:The fuelling of active galactic nuclei 679 Isaac Shlosman, Mitchell C. Begelman & Julian Frank doi:10.1038/345679a0
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:57482
Deposited By: Ruth Sustaita
Deposited On:13 May 2015 17:14
Last Modified:10 Nov 2021 21:50

Repository Staff Only: item control page