A dynamical systems approach to a thin accretion disc and its timedependent behaviour on large length scales
Abstract
Modelling the flow in a thin accretion disc like a dynamical system, we analyse the nature of the critical points of the steady solutions of the flow. For the simple inviscid disc there are two critical points, with the outer one being a saddle point and the inner one a centre type point. For the weakly viscous disc, there are four possible critical points, of which the outermost is a saddle point, while the next inner one is a spiral. Coupling the nature of the critical points with the outer boundary condition of the flow, gives us a complete understanding of all the important physical features of the flow solutions in the subsonic regions of the disc. In the inviscid disc, the physical realisability of the transonic solution passing through the saddle point is addressed by considering a temporal evolution of the flow, which is a very likely nonperturbative mechanism for selecting the transonic inflow solution from among a host of other possible stable solutions. For the weakly viscous disc, while a linearised timedependent perturbation imposed on the steady mass inflow rate causes instability, the same perturbative analysis reveals that for the inviscid disc, there is a very close correspondence between the equation for the propagation of the perturbation and the metric of an acoustic black hole. Compatible with the transport of angular momentum to the outer regions of the disc, a viscositylimited length scale is defined for the spatial extent of the inward rotational drift of matter.
 Publication:

arXiv eprints
 Pub Date:
 November 2005
 arXiv:
 arXiv:astroph/0511018
 Bibcode:
 2005astro.ph.11018R
 Keywords:

 Astrophysics
 EPrint:
 14 pages, REVTeX, 3 figures