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Title: Tearing up the disc: misaligned accretion on to a binary
Authors: Nixon, Chris J.
King, Andrew
Price, Daniel
First Published: 29-Jul-2013
Publisher: Oxford University Press on behalf of the Royal Astronomical Society
Citation: Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 2013, 434 (3), pp. 1946-1954
Abstract: In a recent paper, we have shown that the evolution of a misaligned disc around a spinning black hole can result in tearing the disc into many distinct planes. Tearing discs with random orientations produce direct dynamical accretion on to the hole in ≈70 per cent of all cases. Here, we examine the evolution of a misaligned disc around a binary system. We show that these discs are susceptible to tearing for almost all inclinations. We also show that tearing of the disc can result in a significant acceleration of the disc evolution and subsequent accretion on to the binary – by factors up to 104 times that of a coplanar prograde disc with otherwise identical parameters. This provides a promising mechanism for driving mergers of supermassive black hole (SMBH) binaries on time-scales much shorter than a Hubble time. Disc tearing also suggests new observational signatures of accreting SMBH binaries and other systems such as protostellar binaries.
DOI Link: 10.1093/mnras/stt1136
ISSN: 0035-8711
eISSN: 1365-2966
Version: Publisher Version
Status: Peer-reviewed
Type: Journal Article
Rights: This article has been accepted for publication in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. Copyright © 2013 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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