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Title: Convective overstability in radially stratified accretion disks under thermal relaxation

This paper expands the stability criterion for radially stratified, vertically unstratified accretion disks incorporating thermal relaxation. We find a linear amplification of epicyclic oscillations in these disks that depends on the effective cooling time, i.e., an overstability. The growth rates of the overstability vanish for both extreme cases, e.g., infinite cooling time and instantaneous cooling, i.e., the adiabatic and fully isothermal cases. However, for thermal relaxation times τ on the order of the orbital frequency, τΩ ∼ 1, modes grow at a rate proportional to the square of the Brunt-Väisälä frequency. The overstability is based on epicyclic motions, with the thermal relaxation causing gas to heat while radially displaced inward and cool while radially displaced outward. This causes the gas to have a lower density when moving outward compared to when it moves inward, so it feels the outward-directed pressure force more strongly on that leg of the journey. We suggest the term 'convective overstability' for the phenomenon which has already been studied numerically in the nonlinear regime in the context of amplifying vortices in disks under the name 'subcritical baroclinic instability'. The aim of the present paper is to make clear that vortex formation in three-dimensional disks is notmore » necessarily subcritical, i.e., does not need a finite perturbation, nor is it baroclinic in the sense of geophysical fluid dynamics, which requires on vertical shear. We find that convective overstability is a linear instability that will operate under a wide range of physical conditions for circumstellar disks.« less
Authors:
 [1] ;  [2]
  1. Max-Planck-Institut für Astronomie, Königstuhl 17, D-69117 Heidelberg (Germany)
  2. Department of Astrophysics, American Museum of Natural History, New York, NY 10024-5192 (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22356692
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Astrophysical Journal; Journal Volume: 788; Journal Issue: 1; 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; AMPLIFICATION; COMPARATIVE EVALUATIONS; COOLING TIME; INSTABILITY; MATTER; NONLINEAR PROBLEMS; OSCILLATIONS; PERTURBATION THEORY; PLANETS; RELAXATION; SATELLITES; STABILITY; THREE-DIMENSIONAL CALCULATIONS; TURBULENCE