Journal Article

Accretion disc outbursts: a new version of an old model

Jean-Marie Hameury, Kristen Menou, Guillaume Dubus, Jean-Pierre Lasota and Jean-Marc Huré

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

Published on behalf of The Royal Astronomical Society

Volume 298, issue 4, pages 1048-1060
Published in print August 1998 | ISSN: 0035-8711
Published online August 1998 | e-ISSN: 1365-2966 | DOI:
Accretion disc outbursts: a new version of an old model

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We have developed 1D time-dependent numerical models of accretion discs, using an adaptive grid technique and an implicit numerical scheme, in which the disc size is allowed to vary with time. The code fully resolves the cooling and heating fronts propagating in the disc. We show that models in which the radius of the outer edge of the disc is fixed produce incorrect results, from which probably incorrect conclusions about the viscosity law have been inferred. In particular we show that outside-in outbursts are possible when a standard bimodal behaviour of the Shakura-Sunyaev viscosity parameter α is used. We also discuss to what extent insufficient grid resolution has limited the predictive power of previous models. We find that the global properties (magnitudes, etc.) of transient discs can be addressed by codes using a high, but reasonable, number of fixed grid points. However, the study of the detailed physical properties of the transition fronts generally requires resolutions which are out of reach of fixed grid codes. It appears that most time-dependent models of accretion discs published in the literature have been limited by resolution effects, improper outer boundary conditions, or both.

Keywords: accretion, accretion discs; instabilities; binaries: close; novae, cataclysmic variables

Journal Article.  0 words. 

Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics

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