Magnetohydrodynamical non-radiative accretion flows in two dimensions

James McLellan Stone, James E. Pringle

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

183 Scopus citations


We present the results of axisymmetric, time-dependent magnetohydrodynamic simulations of accretion flows around black holes. The calculations begin from a rotationally supported thick torus which contains a weak poloidal field. Accretion is produced by growth and saturation of the magnetorotational instability (MRI) provided that the wavelength of the fastest growing mode is less than the thickness of the torus. Using a computational grid that spans more than two decades in radius, we compare the time-averaged properties of the flow with previous hydrodynamical simulations. The net mass accretion rate is small compared with the mass inflow and outflow rates at large radii associated with turbulent eddies. Turbulence is driven by the MRI rather than convection. The two-dimensional structure of the time-averaged flow is significantly different compared with the hydrodynamical case. We discuss the limitations imposed on our results by the assumption of axisymmetry and the relatively small radial domain.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)461-472
Number of pages12
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Issue number3
StatePublished - Apr 11 2001

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


  • Accretion, accretion discs
  • Black hole physics
  • MHD


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