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Title: On the structure of tidally disrupted stellar debris streams
Authors: Coughlin, Eric R.
Nixon, Chris J.
Begelman, Mitchell C.
Armitage, Philip J.
First Published: 5-Apr-2016
Publisher: Oxford University Press (OUP) on behalf of the Royal Astronomical Society
Citation: Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 2016, 459 (3), pp. 3089-3103
Abstract: A tidal disruption event (TDE) – when a star is destroyed by the immense gravitational field of a supermassive black hole – transforms a star into a stream of tidally shredded debris. The properties of this debris ultimately determine the observable signatures of tidal disruption events (TDEs). Here we derive a simple, self-similar solution for the velocity profile of the debris streams produced from TDEs, and show that this solution agrees extremely well with numerical results. Using this self-similar solution, we calculate an analytic, approximate expression for the radial density profile of the stream. We show that there is a critical adiabatic index that varies as a function of position along the stream above (below) which the stream is unstable (stable) to gravitational fragmentation. We also calculate the impact of heating and cooling on this stability criterion.
DOI Link: 10.1093/mnras/stw770
ISSN: 0035-8711
eISSN: 1365-2966
Version: Publisher Version
Status: Peer-reviewed
Type: Journal Article
Rights: This article has been accepted for publication in MNRAS. Copyright © 2016 The Authors. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Royal Astronomical Society. All rights reserved.
Description: Deposited with reference to the publisher’s open access archiving policy.
Appears in Collections:Published Articles, Dept. of Physics and Astronomy

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