Publications by Steven Balbus

Evolution of relativistic thin discs with a finite ISCO stress: II. Late time behaviour

Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society Oxford University Press 489 (2019) 143–152-

A Mummery, S Balbus

We present solutions to the relativistic thin disc evolutionary equation using a modified description of the mean fluid flow within the disc. The model takes into account the effects of sub-circular velocities in the innermost disc regions, and resolves otherwise unsustainable behaviour present in simple finite innermost stable circular orbit (ISCO) stress disc models. We show that the behaviour of a relativistic thin disc evolving with a finite ISCO stress is comprised of three distinct stages which join the ordinarily distinct finite and vanishing ISCO stress solutions into a fully continuous model parametrization. The most important prediction of our model is the existence of an intermediate stage of ‘stalled accretion’, controlled by a single dimensionless parameter. The hallmarks of this evolutionary phase appear to have been seen in General Relativistic MHD simulations as well as in the late time X-ray observations of tidal disruption events, but dedicated simulations and extended observations are needed for a deeper understanding.

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