In this paper, we consider the process of alignment of a spinning black hole and a surrounding misaligned accretion disc. We use a simplified set of equations, that describe the evolution of the system in the case where the propagation of warping disturbances in the accretion disc occurs diffusively, a situation likely to be common in the thin discs in active galactic nuclei (AGN). We also allow the direction of the hole spin to move under the action of the disc torques. In such a way, the evolution of the hole-disc system is computed self-consistently. We consider a number of different situations and we explore the relevant parameter range, by varying the location of the warp radius R-w and the propagation speed of the warp. We find that the dissipation associated with the twisting of the disc results in a large increase in the accretion rate through the disc, so that AGN accreting from a misaligned disc are likely to be significantly more luminous than those accreting from a flat disc. We compute explicitly the time-scales for the warping of the disc and for the alignment process and compare our results with earlier estimates based on simplified steady-state solutions. We also confirm earlier predictions that, under appropriate circumstances, accretion can proceed in a counter-aligned fashion, so that the accreted material will spin-down the hole, rather than spinning it up. Our results have implication in a number of different observational features of AGN such as the orientation and shape of jets, the shape of X-ray iron lines and the possibility of obscuration and absorption of X-ray by the outer disc as well as the general issue of the spin history of black holes during their growth.
|Titolo:||The evolution of misaligned accretion discs and spinning black holes|
LODATO, GIUSEPPE (Primo)
|Parole Chiave:||Accretion, accretion discs; Black hole physics; Galaxies: active; Galaxies: nuclei|
|Data di pubblicazione:||mag-2006|
|Digital Object Identifier (DOI):||10.1111/j.1365-2966.2006.10194.x|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||01 - Articolo su periodico|