AAS Meeting #193 - Austin, Texas, January 1999
Session 29. Quasi-Periodic Oscillations and Pulsar Theory
Oral, Wednesday, January 6, 1999, 2:00-3:30pm, Room 9 (C)

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[29.07] Viscous Stability of Relativistic Keplerian Accretion Disks

P. Ghosh (NASA Goddard Space Flight Center)

We investigate the viscous stability of thin, Keplerian accretion disks in regions where general relativistic (GR) effects are essential. For gas pressure dominated (GPD) disks, we show that the Newtonian conclusion that such disks are viscously stable is reversed by GR modifications in the behaviors of viscous stress and surface density over a significantly large annular region not far from the innermost stable orbit at r=rms. For slowly-rotating central objects, this region spans a range of radii 14 < r < 19 in units of the central object's mass M. For radiation pressure dominated (RPD) disks, the Newtonian conclusion that they are viscously unstable remains valid after including the above GR modifications, except in a very small annulus around r~14M, which has a negligible influence. Inclusion of the stabilizing effect of the mass-inflow through the disk's inner edge via a GR analogue of Roche-lobe overflow adds a small, stable region around rms for RPD disks, but leaves GPD disks unchanged. We mention possible astrophysical relevance of these results, particularly to the high-frequency X-ray variabilities observed by the Rossi X-ray Timing Explorer.

The author(s) of this abstract have provided an email address for comments about the abstract: pranab@rufus.gsfc.nasa.gov

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