MAGNETIC PROPELLER OUTFLOWS

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


A model is developed for magnetic `propeller'-driven outflows which cause a rapidly rotating magnetized star accreting from a disk to spin-down. Energy and angular momentum lost by the star goes into expelling most of the accreting disk matter. The theory gives an expression for the effective Alfven radius  (where the inflowing matter is effectively stopped) which depends on the mass accretion rate, the star's mass and magnetic moment, and the star's rotation rate. The model points to a mechanism for `jumps' between spin-down and spin-up evolution and for the reverse transition, which are changes between two possible equilibrium configurations of the system. In for example the transistion from spin-down to spin-up states the Alfven radius  decreases from a value larger than the corotation radius to one which is smaller. In this transistion the `propeller' goes from being ``on'' to being ``off.'' The ratio of the spin-down to spin-up torque (or the ratio for the reverse change) in a jump is shown to be of order unity.

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Last updated on 29.01.07