Journal Article

Instability of Population III Black Hole Accretion Disks

Ken Ohsuga, Hajime Susa and Yosuke Uchiyama

in Publications of the Astronomical Society of Japan

Volume 59, issue 6, pages 1235-1241
Published in print December 2007 | ISSN: 0004-6264
Published online December 2007 | e-ISSN: 2053-051X | DOI:
Instability of Population III Black Hole Accretion Disks

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  • Astrometry and Celestial Mechanics
  • Cosmology


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We investigated the stability of black hole accretion disks in a primordial environment (POP III disks for short), by solving the vertical structure of optically thick disks, including convective energy transport, and by employing a one-zone model for optically thin isothermal disks. Because of the absence of metals in POP III disks, we find significant differences in stability associated with ionization between POP III disks and the disks of solar metallicity. An unstable branch in S-shaped equilibrium curves on the [math]–[math] (mass accretion rate–surface density) plane extends to a larger surface density compared with the case of disks of solar metallicity. The resulting equilibrium loci indicate that quasi-periodic oscillations in luminosity can also be driven in POP III disks, and their maximal luminosity is typically by an order of magnitude larger than that of the disks of solar metallicity. Such a strong outburst of POP III disks can be observed by future huge telescopes, in the case that the mass is supplied onto the disks at the Bondi accretion rates in typical virialized small dark halos.

Keywords: accretion, accretion disks; cosmology: early universe; instabilities; brack hole physics

Journal Article.  4929 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Astrometry and Celestial Mechanics ; Cosmology

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