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Published June 1, 2016 | Published
Journal Article Open

Integrated accretion disk angular momentum removal and astrophysical jet acceleration mechanism


Ions and neutrals in the weakly ionized plasma of an accretion disc are tightly bound because of the high ion–neutral collision frequency. A cluster of a statistically large number of ions and neutrals behaves as a fluid element having the charge of the ions and the mass of the neutrals. This fluid element is effectively a metaparticle having such an extremely small charge-to-mass ratio that its cyclotron frequency can be of the order of the Kepler angular frequency. In this case, metaparticles with a critical charge-to-mass ratio can have zero canonical angular momentum. Zero canonical angular momentum metaparticles experience no centrifugal force and spiral inwards towards the central body. Accumulation of these inward spiralling metaparticles near the central body produces radially and axially outward electric fields. The axially outward electric field drives an out-of-plane poloidal electric current along arched poloidal flux surfaces in the highly ionized volume outside the disc. This out-of-plane current and its associated magnetic field produce forces that drive bidirectional astrophysical jets flowing normal to and away from the disc. The poloidal electric current circuit removes angular momentum from the accreting mass and deposits this removed angular momentum at near infinite radius in the disc plane. The disc region is an electric power source (E⋅J<0) while the jet region is an electric power sink (E⋅J>0).

Additional Information

© 2016 The Author Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Royal Astronomical Society. Accepted 2016 March 4. Received 2016 March 4. In original form 2015 March 16. First published online March 17, 2016. This material is based upon work supported by the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science, Office of Fusion Energy Sciences under Award Numbers DE-FG02-04ER54755 and DE-SC0010471. The author wishes to thank an anonymous reviewer for pointing out that a range of particles with finite Pφ can have unstable circular orbits when β = 1 as demonstrated in Appendix A.

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Published - MNRAS-2016-Bellan-4400-21.pdf


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