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On the Missing Energy Puzzle of Tidal Disruption Events

Lu, Wenbin and Kumar, Pawan (2018) On the Missing Energy Puzzle of Tidal Disruption Events. Astrophysical Journal, 865 (2). Art. No. 128. ISSN 1538-4357. doi:10.3847/1538-4357/aad54a.

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For the majority of tidal disruption event (TDE) candidates, the observed energy in the optical/near-UV bands is of order 10^(51) erg. We show that this observed energy is smaller than the minimum bolometric energy for the radiative inefficient accretion flow model by a factor of 10–100. We argue that this discrepancy is because the majority of the energy released is in the extreme-UV (EUV) band and/or in the form of relativistic jets beamed away from the Earth. The EUV scenario is supported by existing mid-infrared data and should be further tested by future dust reverberation observations. The jet scenario is disfavored by radio observations of ASASSN-14li but may still be viable for other TDE candidates. We also provide evidence that, at least for some TDEs, most of the missing energy (in the EUV and/or in the form of jets) is released within a few times the orbital period of the most tightly bound material P_(min), which means (1) the circularization of the fallback stream may occur rapidly and (2) the luminosity of the accretion flow or the jet power may not be capped near the Eddington level when the fallback rate is super-Eddington. For most other TDEs, this energy-release timescale is currently not strongly constrained.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription Paper
Lu, Wenbin0000-0002-1568-7461
Additional Information:© 2018 The American Astronomical Society. Received 2018 June 3; revised 2018 July 16; accepted 2018 July 19; published 2018 September 28. We thank Sjoert van Velzen and James Guillochon for reading the manuscript and providing valuable comments. The comments from an anonymous referee have improved the clarity of the paper. We also thank Tom Holoien, Julian Krolik, Scott Tremaine, Jeremy Goodman, and Brian Metzger for useful discussions. W.L. was supported by the David Alan Benfield Memorial Fellowship at the University of Texas at Austin, and the David and Ellen Lee Fellowship at California Institute of Technology.
Group:TAPIR, Walter Burke Institute for Theoretical Physics
Funding AgencyGrant Number
University of Texas at AustinUNSPECIFIED
David and Ellen Lee FellowshipUNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords:galaxies: nuclei – infrared: ISM – methods: analytical
Issue or Number:2
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20180928-092110696
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Official Citation:Wenbin Lu and Pawan Kumar 2018 ApJ 865 128
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:90046
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:28 Sep 2018 22:06
Last Modified:16 Nov 2021 00:40

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