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Title: A self-similar solution for thermal disc winds
Authors: Clarke, C.
Alexander, Richard
First Published: 19-May-2016
Publisher: Oxford University Press (OUP) on behalf of the Royal Astronomical Society
Citation: Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 2016, 460 (3), pp. 3044-3051
Abstract: We derive a self-similar description for the 2D streamline topology and flow structure of an axi-symmetric, thermally driven wind originating from a disc in which the density is a power law function of radius. Our scale-free solution is strictly only valid in the absence of gravity or centrifugal support; comparison with 2D hydrodynamic simulations of winds from Keplerian discs however demonstrates that the scale-free solution is a good approximation also in the outer regions of such discs, and can provide a reasonable description even for launch radii well within the gravitational radius of the flow. Although other authors have considered the flow properties along streamlines whose geometry has been specified in advance, this is the first isothermal calculation in which the flow geometry and variation of flow variables along streamlines is determined self-consistently. It is found that the flow trajectory is very sensitive to the power-law index of radial density variation in the disc: the steeper the density gradient, the stronger is the curvature of streamlines close to the flow base that is required in order to maintain momentum balance perpendicular to the flow. Steeper disc density profiles are also associated with more rapid acceleration, and a faster fall-off of density, with height above the disc plane. The derivation of a set of simple governing equations for the flow structure of thermal winds from the outer regions of power law discs offers the possibility of deriving flow observables without having to resort to hydrodynamical simulation.
DOI Link: 10.1093/mnras/stw1178
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 © 2016 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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