Accretion Flows in Astrophysics
This book highlights selected topics of standard and modern theory of accretion onto black holes and magnetized neutron stars. The structure of stationary standard discs and non-stationary viscous processes in accretion discs are discussed to the highest degree of accuracy analytic theory can provide, including relativistic effects in flat and warped discs around black holes. A special chapter is dedicated to a new theory of subsonic settling accretion onto a rotating magnetized neutron star. The book also describes supercritical accretion in quasars and its manifestation in lensing events. Several chapters cover the underlying physics of viscosity in astrophysical discs with some important aspects of turbulent viscosity generation. The book is aimed at specialists as well as graduate students interested in the field of theoretical astrophysics.
Accretion discs are powerful energy factories in our Universe. They effectively transform the potential energy of gravitational interaction to emission, thereby unraveling the physics of distant objects. This is possible due to the presence of viscosity, driven by turbulent motions in accretion discs. In this chapter, we describe the equations for disc accretion in the framework of the standard model. We outline basic elements of the theory of turbulent viscosity and the emergence of the α-parameter. We further describe the radial and vertical structure of thin stationary accretion discs, and present analytical solutions to the basic equation of the evolution of a viscous accretion disc for both an infinite disc and for a disc in a binary system. Finally, we present a numerical method to solve the equations of disc evolution and vertical structure simultaneously.