Effective sound speed in relativistic accretion discs around Schwarzschild black holes

Article Type

Research Article

Publication Title

New Astronomy


For low angular momentum axially symmetric accretion flow maintained in hydrostatic equilibrium along the vertical direction, the value of the Mach number at the critical points deviates from unity, resulting in the non-isomorphism of the critical and the sonic points. This introduces several undesirable complexities while analytically dealing with the stationary integral accretion solutions and the corresponding phase portraits. We propose that the introduction of an effective dynamical sound speed may resolve the issue in an elegant way. We linear perturb the full spacetime-dependent general relativistic Euler and the continuity equations governing the structure and the dynamics of accretion disc in vertical equilibrium around Schwarzschild black holes and identify the sonic metric embedded within the stationary background flow. Such metric describes the propagation of the linear acoustic perturbation inside the accretion flow. We construct the wave equation corresponding to that acoustic perturbation and find the speed of propagation of such perturbation. We finally show that the ordinary thermodynamic sound speed should be substituted by the speed of propagation of the linear acoustic wave which has been obtained through the dynamical perturbation. Such substitution will make the value of Mach number at the critical point to be equal to unity. Use of the aforementioned effective sound speed will lead to a modified stationary disc structure where the critical and the sonic points will be identical.

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Open Access, Green