INFLUENCE OF OHMIC HEATING ON ADVECTION-DOMINATED ACCRETION FLOWS

Authors: G.S. Bisnovatyi-Kogan, and R.V.E. Lovelace

Advection-dominated, high-temperature, quasi-spherical accretion flow onto a compact object, recently considered by a number of authors, assume that the dissipation of turbulent energy of the flow heats the ions and that the dissipated energy is advected inward. It is suggested that the efficiency of conversion of accretion energy to radiation can be very much smaller than unity. However, it is likely that the flows have an equipartition magnetic field with the result that dissipation of magnetic energy at a rate comparable to that for the turbulence must occur by Ohmic heating. We argue that this heating occurs as a result of plasma instabilities and that the relevant instabilities are current driven in response to the strong electric fields parallel to the magnetic field. We argue further that these instabilities heat predominantly the electrons. We conclude that the efficiency of conversion of accretion energy to radiation can be much smaller than unity only for the unlikely condition that the Ohmic heating of the electron.

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Last updated on 29.01.07