Towards incorporating a turbulent magnetic field in an accreting black hole model

Victor Kowalenko, Fulvio Melia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


A model proposed by Melia & Ruffert to evaluate the spectrum and radiation flux for accretion on to a black hole makes use of the 'equipartition assumption' in which the magnetic, turbulent and gravitational energy densities are assumed to be in approximate equilibrium for distances below the accretion radius, where Bondi-Hoyle infall begins. As a consequence, the mechanism for the dissipation of the magnetic field and the resulting effect on the flow of the accreting gas have not been treated quantitatively. Here we examine alternative approaches for modelling the dissipation of magnetic fields and turbulent flow to see how these may be incorporated into the model. The results of our study should be immediately applicable to the ever-improving measurements of the spectrum and size of the massive black hole at our Galactic Centre, in particular producing a more accurate estimate of its mass. Combined with greatly refined kinematic studies of this region, our work may constrain the dark matter concentration in the nucleus of our Galaxy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1053-1061
Number of pages9
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 21 1999


  • Accretion, accretion discs
  • Black hole physics
  • Galaxy: centre
  • Magnetic fields
  • Turbulence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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