Three-dimensional smoothed particle hydrodynamics simulations of radiation-driven warped accretion discs

Foulkes, S. B.; Haswell, C. A. and Murray, James R. (2006). Three-dimensional smoothed particle hydrodynamics simulations of radiation-driven warped accretion discs. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 366(4) pp. 1399–1409.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2966.2005.09910.x

Abstract

We present three-dimensional smoothed particle hydrodynamics calculations of warped accretion discs in X-ray binary systems. Geometrically thin, optically thick accretion discs are illuminated by a central radiation source. This illumination exerts a non-axisymmetric radiation pressure on the surface of the disc, resulting in a torque that acts on the disc to induce a twist or warp. Initially planar discs are unstable to warping driven by the radiation torque and, in general, the warps also precess in a retrograde direction relative to the orbital flow. We simulate a number of X-ray binary systems which have different mass ratios, using a number of different luminosities for each. Radiation-driven warping occurs for all systems simulated. For mass ratios q∼ 0.1 a moderate warp occurs in the inner disc while the outer disc remains in the orbital plane (cf. X 1916−053). For less extreme mass ratios, the entire disc tilts out of the orbital plane (cf. Her X–1). For discs that are tilted out of the orbital plane in which the outer edge material of the disc is precessing in a prograde direction, we obtain both positive and negative superhumps simultaneously in the dissipation light curve (cf. V603 Aql).

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