AAS 201st Meeting, January, 2003
Session 113. Massive Star Winds and Atmospheres
Poster, Thursday, January 9, 2003, 9:20am-4:00pm, Exhibit Hall AB

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[113.04] Radiatively Driven Instabilities in Magnetized Hot Stars and Accretion Disks

O. M. Blaes, S. W. Davis, A. Socrates (University of California, Santa Barbara)

Radiative diffusion is often a significant source of damping of acoustic waves in astrophysical fluids. However, in a stratified medium with a background radiative flux, acoustic waves can be driven unstable by periodic radiative forcing. We believe this to be the basic physical mechanism behind a variety of instabilities that have been discussed in the literature, including hydrodynamic strange modes in stars and magnetic photon bubble modes in accreting X-ray pulsars and radiation pressure supported accretion disks. We elucidate the basic physics of these instabilities, and also calculate how they may manifest themselves in observed spectral energy distributions and polarization. This work is supported by NSF grant AST-9970827 and NASA grant NAG5-7075.

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