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Astrophysics

Title: Old and New Advances in Black Hole Accretion Disk Theory

Authors: Roland Svensson (Stockholm Observatory, Sweden)
Abstract: A summary is given of the high-lights during the Reykjavik Midsummer Symposium on Non-Linear Phenomena in Accretion Discs around Black Holes. Such high-lights include the recent advances on understanding: 1) the accretion disc solution branch dominated by advection (i.e., advection dominated accretion flows, ADAFs), 2) the importance of magnetic fields in many different respects, most importantly being responsible for the self-sustained MHD-turbulence giving rise to the disc viscosity, and 3) the details of the radiation processes giving rise to the X/gamma-ray continuum originating close to the black hole. Some old advances are unfortunately also necessary to discuss here. It is pointed out to the accretion disc research community, that many of the research papers published on ADAFs 1994-1997 do not accurately present the history of ADAF research. Some of the results that were presented as new and original actually appeared in a paper by Ichimaru already in 1977. Also not quoted are the papers from the 1970's and 1980's calculating the temperature structure of and the spectra from quasi-spherical accretion flows onto black holes. As the ADAFs are close to being quasi-spherical, the resulting spectra of ADAFs and quasi-spherical flows are almost identical. Further of the recent ADAF results are therefore not new results as is sometimes claimed. In spite of all the recent progress of various aspects of accretion flows around black holes, many of the research lines have still not been merged providing potential for further dramatic progress in coming years.
Comments: 10 pages; an invited review at "The Non-Linear Phenomena in Accretion Discs around Black Holes", Reykjavik, June 18-21, 1997; in "Theory of Black Hole Accretion Discs", eds. M.A. Abramowicz, G. Bjornsson, and J.E. Pringle, Cambridge University Press
Subjects: Astrophysics (astro-ph)
Cite as: arXiv:astro-ph/9902205
  (or arXiv:astro-ph/9902205v1 for this version)

Submission history

From: Juri Poutanen [view email]
[v1] Mon, 15 Feb 1999 12:49:47 GMT (27kb)