Journal Article

Global structure of magnetorotationally turbulent protoplanetary discs

M. Flaig, Patrick Ruoff, W. Kley and R. Kissmann

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

Published on behalf of The Royal Astronomical Society

Volume 420, issue 3, pages 2419-2428
Published in print March 2012 | ISSN: 0035-8711
Published online February 2012 | e-ISSN: 1365-2966 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2966.2011.20207.x
Global structure of magnetorotationally turbulent protoplanetary discs

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The aim of this paper is to investigate the spatial structure of a protoplanetary disc whose dynamics is governed by magnetorotational turbulence. We perform a series of local three-dimensional chemoradiative magnetohydrodynamic simulations located at different radii of a disc which is twice as massive as the standard minimum mass solar nebula of Hayashi. The ionization state of the disc is calculated by including collisional ionization, stellar X-rays, cosmic rays and the decay of radionuclides as ionization sources, and by solving a simplified chemical network which includes the effect of the absorption of free charges by μm-sized dust grains. In the region where the ionization is too low to ensure good coupling between matter and magnetic fields, a non-turbulent central ‘dead zone’ forms, which ranges approximately from a distance of 2 to 4 au from the central star. The approach taken in this work allows for the first time to derive the global spatial structure of a protoplanetary disc from a set of physically realistic numerical simulations.

Keywords: accretion, accretion discs; magnetic fields; MHD; radiative transfer; turbulence; protoplanetary discs

Journal Article.  5868 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics

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