Journal Article

The structure of black hole magnetospheres — I. Schwarzschild black holes

Pranab Ghosh

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

Published on behalf of The Royal Astronomical Society

Volume 315, issue 1, pages 89-97
Published in print June 2000 | ISSN: 0035-8711
Published online June 2000 | e-ISSN: 1365-2966 | DOI:
The structure of black hole magnetospheres — I. Schwarzschild black holes

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We introduce a multipolar scheme for describing the structure of stationary, axisymmetric, force-free black hole magnetospheres in the ‘3+1’ formalism. We focus here on Schwarzschild space—time, giving a complete classification of the separable solutions of the stream equation. We show a transparent term-by-term analogy of our solutions with the familiar multipoles of flat-space electrodynamics. We discuss electrodynamic processes around disc-fed black holes in which our solutions find natural applications: (i) ‘interior’ solutions in studies of the Blandford—Znajek process of extracting the rotational energy of holes, and of the formation of relativistic jets in active galactic nuclei and ‘microquasars’; (ii) ‘exterior’ solutions in studies of accretion disc dynamos, disc-driven winds and jets. On the strength of existing numerical studies, we argue that the poloidal field structures found here are also expected to hold with good accuracy for rotating black holes, except for the cases of the maximum possible rotation rates. We show that the closed-loop exterior solutions found here are not in contradiction with the Macdonald—Thorne theorem, as these solutions, which diverge logarithmically on the horizon of the hole H, only apply to those regions that exclude H.

Keywords: accretion, accretion discs; black hole physics; galaxies: active; galaxies: jets; galaxies: nuclei

Journal Article.  0 words. 

Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics

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