skip to main content

SciTech ConnectSciTech Connect

Title: TESTING CONVERGENCE FOR GLOBAL ACCRETION DISKS

Global disk simulations provide a powerful tool for investigating accretion and the underlying magnetohydrodynamic turbulence driven by magneto-rotational instability (MRI). Using them to accurately predict quantities such as stress, accretion rate, and surface brightness profile requires that purely numerical effects, arising from both resolution and algorithm, be understood and controlled. We use the flux-conservative Athena code to conduct a series of experiments on disks having a variety of magnetic topologies to determine what constitutes adequate resolution. We develop and apply several resolution metrics: (Q{sub z} ) and (Q{sub {phi}}), the ratio of the grid zone size to the characteristic MRI wavelength, {alpha}{sub mag}, the ratio of the Maxwell stress to the magnetic pressure, and /, the ratio of radial to toroidal magnetic field energy. For the initial conditions considered here, adequate resolution is characterized by (Q{sub z} ) {>=} 15, (Q{sub {phi}}) {>=} 20, {alpha}{sub mag} Almost-Equal-To 0.45, and /{approx}0.2. These values are associated with {>=}35 zones per scaleheight H, a result consistent with shearing box simulations. Numerical algorithm is also important. Use of the Harten-Lax-van Leer-Einfeldt flux solver or second-order interpolation can significantly degrade the effective resolution compared to the Harten-Lax-van Leer discontinuities flux solver and third-order interpolation. Resolutionmore » at this standard can be achieved only with large numbers of grid zones, arranged in a fashion that matches the symmetries of the problem and the scientific goals of the simulation. Without it, however, quantitative measures important to predictions of observables are subject to large systematic errors.« less
Authors:
; ;  [1] ;  [2]
  1. Department of Astronomy, University of Virginia, P.O. Box 400325, Charlottesville, VA 22904-4325 (United States)
  2. Department of Physics and Astronomy, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD 21218 (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22121808
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Astrophysical Journal; Journal Volume: 772; Journal Issue: 2; Other Information: Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
79 ASTROPHYSICS, COSMOLOGY AND ASTRONOMY; ACCRETION DISKS; ALGORITHMS; BLACK HOLES; BRIGHTNESS; CONVERGENCE; INTERPOLATION; MAGNETIC FIELDS; MAGNETOHYDRODYNAMICS; SIMULATION; SYMMETRY; TURBULENCE; WAVELENGTHS