Tilted Disks around Black Holes: A Numerical Parameter Survey for Spin and Inclination Angle

Christopher J. White, Eliot Quataert, Omer Blaes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


We conduct a systematic study of the properties of tilted accretion flows around spinning black holes, covering a range of tilt angles and black hole spins, using the general-relativistic magnetohydrodynamics code Athena++. The same initial magnetized torus is evolved around black holes with spins ranging from 0 to 0.9, with inclinations ranging from 0° to 24°. The tilted disks quickly reach a warped and twisted shape that rigidly precesses about the black hole spin axis with deformations in shape large enough to hinder the application of linear bending wave theory. Magnetized polar outflows form, oriented along the disk rotation axes. At sufficiently high inclinations a pair of standing shocks develops in the disks. These shocks dramatically affect the flow at small radii, driving angular momentum transport. At high spins they redirect material more effectively than they heat it, reducing the dissipation rate relative to the mass accretion rate and lowering the heating efficiency of the flow.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number51
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jun 10 2019
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


  • accretion, accretion disks
  • black hole physics
  • hydrodynamics
  • magnetohydrodynamics (MHD)
  • relativistic processes


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