Wednesday, July 31, 2013

1307.8077 (Jiri Horak et al.)

Corotation resonance and overstable oscillations in black-hole accretion discs: general-relativistic calculations    [PDF]

Jiri Horak, Dong Lai
We study the dynamics of spiral waves and oscillation modes in relativistic rotating discs around black holes. Generalizing the Newtonian theory, we show that wave absorption can take place at the corotation resonance, where the pattern frequency of the wave matches the background disc rotation rate. We derive the general relativistic expression for the disc vortensity (vorticity divided by surface density), which governs the behaviour of density perturbation near corotation. Depending on the gradient of the generalized disc vortensity, corotational wave absorption can lead to the amplification or damping of the spiral wave. We apply our general theory of relativistic wave dynamics to calculate the non-axisymmetric inertial-acoustic modes (also called p-modes) trapped in the inner-most region of a black hole accretion disc. Because general relativity changes the profiles of the radial epicyclic frequency and disc vortensity near the inner disc edge close to the black hole, these p-modes can become overstable under appropriate conditions. We present the numerical results of the frequencies and growth rates of p-modes for various black hole spin and model disc parameters (the surface density profile and sound speed), and discuss their implications for understanding the enigmatic high-frequency quasi-periodic oscillations observed in black hole X-ray binaries.
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