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Astron. Astrophys. 321, 665-671 (1997)

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Standing Rankine-Hugoniot shocks in accretion and wind flows in Kerr geometry

Ju-Fu Lu 1, 2, K.N. Yu 1, Feng Yuan 2 and E.C.M. Young 1

1 Department of Physics and Materials Science, City University of Hong Kong, Tat Chee Avenue, Kowloon, Hong Kong
2 Center for Astrophysics, University of Science and Technology of China, Hefei, Anhui 230026, P.R.China

Received 31 January 1996 / Accepted 21 October 1996


This paper presents a fully relativistic study on the standing shock formation in thin, stationary, axisymmetric, adiabatic fluid flows in Kerr geometry. We find out the energy-angular momentum parameter space for which the flow may develop shocks. The multiplicity of the formal shock location is removed by employing the boundary conditions and stability analysis: the stable shock location is practically unique. The effects of the frame-dragging of a rapid rotating black hole on the shock properties are pointed out. Finally, we discuss the validity of the assumptions made about the flow and conclude that shocks are likely to be common in astrophysical flows.

Key words: accretion, accretion disks – black hole physics – hydrodynamics – relativity – shock waves

Send offprint requests to: Ju-Fu Lu (second address)


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© European Southern Observatory (ESO) 1997

Online publication: June 30, 1998