Friday, July 19, 2013

1307.4752 (Robert F. Penna et al.)

General Relativistic Magnetohydrodynamic Simulations of Blandford-Znajek Jets and the Membrane Paradigm    [PDF]

Robert F. Penna, Ramesh Narayan, Aleksander Sadowski
Recently it has been observed that the scaling of jet power with black hole spin in galactic X-ray binaries is consistent with the predictions of the Blandford-Znajek (BZ) jet model. These observations motivate us to revisit the BZ model using general relativistic magnetohydrodynamic simulations of magnetized jets from accreting (h/r ~ 0.3), spinning (0 < a_* < 0.98) black holes. We have three main results. First, we quantify the discrepancies between the BZ jet power and our simulations: assuming maximum efficiency and uniform fields on the horizon leads to a ~10% overestimate of jet power, while ignoring the accretion disk leads to a further ~50% overestimate. Simply reducing the standard BZ jet power prediction by 60% gives a good fit to our simulation data. Our second result is to show that the membrane formulation of the BZ model correctly describes the physics underlying simulated jets: torques, dissipation, and electromagnetic fields on the horizon. This provides intuitive yet rigorous pictures for the black hole energy extraction process. Third, we compute the effective resistance of the load region and show that the load and the black hole achieve near perfect impedance matching. Taken together, these results increase our confidence in the BZ model as the correct description of jets observed from astrophysical black holes.
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