Journal Article

The runaway instability of self-gravitating tori with non-constant specific angular momentum around black holes

Nobuyuki Masuda, Shogo Nishida and Yoshiharu Eriguchi

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

Published on behalf of The Royal Astronomical Society

Volume 297, issue 4, pages 1139-1144
Published in print July 1998 | ISSN: 0035-8711
Published online July 1998 | e-ISSN: 1365-2966 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1046/j.1365-8711.1998.01573.x
The runaway instability of self-gravitating tori with non-constant specific angular momentum around black holes

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We discuss the runaway instability of axisymmetric tori with non-constant specific angular momentum around black holes, taking into account self-gravity of the tori. The distribution of specific angular momentum of the tori is assumed to be a positive power law with respect to the distance from the rotational axis. By employing the pseudo-Newtonian potential for the gravity of the spherical black hole, we have found that self-gravity of the tori causes a runaway instability if the amount of the mass which is transferred from the torus to the black hole exceeds a critical value, i.e. 3 per cent of the mass of the torus. This has been shown by two different approaches: (1) by using equilibrium models and (2) by dynamical simulations. In particular, dynamical simulations using an SPH code have been carried out for both self-gravitating and non-self-gravitating tori. For non-self-gravitating models, all tori are runaway stable. Therefore we come to the conclusion that self-gravity of the tori has a stronger destabilizing effect than the stabilizing effect of the positive power-law distribution of the angular momentum.

Keywords: accretion; accretion discs; black hole physics; instabilities

Journal Article.  0 words. 

Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics

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