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Spherical accretion: the influence of inner boundary and quasi-periodic oscillations

Dhang, Prasun and Sharma, Prateek and Mukhopadhyay, Banibrata (2016) Spherical accretion: the influence of inner boundary and quasi-periodic oscillations. In: MONTHLY NOTICES OF THE ROYAL ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY, 461 (3). pp. 2426-2439.

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/mnras/stw1480


Bondi accretion assumes that there is a sink of mass at the centre - which in the case of a black hole (BH) corresponds to the advection of matter across the event horizon. Other stars, such as a neutron star (NS), have surfaces and hence the infalling matter has to slow down at the surface. We study the initial value problem in which the matter distribution is uniform and at rest at t = 0. We consider different inner boundary conditions for BHs and NSs: outflow boundary condition (mimicking mass sink at the centre) valid for BHs; and reflective and steady-shock (allowing gas to cross the inner boundary at subsonic speeds) boundary conditions for NSs. We also obtain a similarity solution for cold accretion on to BHs and NSs. 1D simulations show the formation of an outward-propagating and a standing shock in NSs for reflective and steady-shock boundary conditions, respectively. Entropy is the highest at the bottom of the subsonic region for reflective boundary conditions. In 2D this profile is convectively unstable. Using steady-shock inner boundary conditions, the flow is unstable to the standing accretion shock instability in 2D, which leads to global shock oscillations and may be responsible for quasi-periodic oscillations seen in the light curves of accreting systems. For steady accretion in the quiescent state, spherical accretion rate on to an NS can be suppressed by orders of magnitude compared to that on to a BH.

Item Type: Journal Article
Additional Information: Copy right for this article belongs to the OXFORD UNIV PRESS, GREAT CLARENDON ST, OXFORD OX2 6DP, ENGLAND
Department/Centre: Division of Physical & Mathematical Sciences > Joint Astronomy Programme
Division of Physical & Mathematical Sciences > Physics
Date Deposited: 28 Oct 2016 07:11
Last Modified: 28 Oct 2016 07:11
URI: http://eprints.iisc.ac.in/id/eprint/55141

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