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Title: Growing supermassive black holes by chaotic accretion
Authors: King, Andrew R.
Pringle, J. E.
First Published: 1-Nov-2006
Publisher: Oxford University Press (OUP), Royal Astronomical Society
Citation: Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 2006, 373(1), pp. L90-L92
Abstract: We consider the problem of growing the largest supermassive black holes from stellar–mass seeds at high redshift. Rapid growth without violating the Eddington limit requires that most mass is gained while the hole has a low spin and thus a low radiative accretion efficiency. If, as was formerly thought, the black–hole spin aligns very rapidly with the accretion flow, even a randomly–oriented sequence of accretion events would all spin up the hole and prevent rapid mass growth. However, using a recent result that the Bardeen–Petterson effect causes counteralignment of hole and disc spins under certain conditions, we show that holes can grow rapidly in mass if they acquire most of it in a sequence of randomly oriented accretion episodes whose angular momenta Jd are no larger than the hole’s angular momentum Jh. Ultimately the hole has total angular momentum comparable with the last accretion episode. This points to a picture in which the accretion is chaotic on a lengthscale of order the disc size, that is <~0.1 pc.
DOI Link: 10.1111/j.1745-3933.2006.00249.x
Version: Published version (Publisher PDF)
Type: Journal Article
Rights: Archived with reference to SHERPA/RoMEO and publisher website. This article has been accepted for publication in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, Copyright 2006 The Authors. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Royal Astronomical Society. All rights reserved.
Appears in Collections:Published Articles, Dept. of Physics and Astronomy

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