Magnetorotational instability in stratified, weakly ionized accretion discs

Article


Salmeron, Raquel and Wardle, Mark. 2003. "Magnetorotational instability in stratified, weakly ionized accretion discs." Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. 345 (3), pp. 992-1008. https://doi.org/10.1046/j.1365-8711.2003.07024.x
Article Title

Magnetorotational instability in stratified, weakly ionized accretion discs

ERA Journal ID1074
Article CategoryArticle
AuthorsSalmeron, Raquel (Author) and Wardle, Mark (Author)
Journal TitleMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Journal Citation345 (3), pp. 992-1008
Number of Pages17
Year2003
PublisherOxford University Press
Place of PublicationUnited Kingdom
ISSN0035-8711
1365-2966
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1046/j.1365-8711.2003.07024.x
Web Address (URL)https://academic.oup.com/mnras/article/345/3/992/973620
Abstract

We present a linear analysis of the vertical structure and growth of the magnetorotational instability in stratified, weakly ionized accretion discs, such as protostellar and quiescent dwarf novae systems. The method includes the effects of the magnetic coupling, the conductivity regime of the fluid and the strength of the magnetic field, which is initially vertical. The conductivity is treated as a tensor and is assumed to be constant with height. We obtained solutions for the structure and growth rate of global unstable modes for different conductivity regimes, strengths of the initial magnetic field and coupling between ionized and neutral components of the fluid. The envelopes of short-wavelength perturbations are determined by the action of competing local growth rates at different heights, driven by the vertical stratification of the disc. Ambipolar diffusion perturbations peak consistently higher above the midplane than modes including Hall conductivity. For weak coupling, perturbations including the Hall effect grow faster and act over a more extended cross-section of the disc than those obtained using the ambipolar diffusion approximation. Finally, we derived an approximate criterion for when Hall diffusion determines the growth of the magnetorotational instability. This is satisfied over a wide range of radii in protostellar discs, reducing the extent of the magnetic 'dead zone'. Even if the magnetic coupling is weak, significant accretion may occur close to the midplane, rather than in the surface regions of weakly ionized discs.

KeywordsAccretion, accretion discs; Instabilities; MHD; Stars: formation
ANZSRC Field of Research 2020510109. Stellar astronomy and planetary systems
Public Notes

This article has been accepted for publication in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society ©: 2003 The Authors. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Royal Astronomical Society. All rights reserved.

Byline AffiliationsUniversity of Sydney
Macquarie University
Institution of OriginUniversity of Southern Queensland
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