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Studying the magnetic evolution of black hole accretion disks

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Models and simulations of jet production near black holes all point to large-scale poloidal magnetic fields playing a critical role. However, despite this importance, there is still much we don’t know about the generation, amplification, and evolution of such fields in the accretion disk. Due to the inherent difficulty in inferring magnetic field structure through observations of accretion disks, we must instead turn to magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) simulations to increase our understanding, and so must also contend with the numerical challenges they introduce.

In this talk, I will give an overview of my project on this subject and present the first preliminary results from a fully-3D MHD simulation of a thick disk (0.25h/r) with a purely toroidal initial field. I will also briefly discuss some of the major challenges in analysing such simulated data and potential avenues of analysis.

This talk is part of the Institute of Astronomy Seminars series.

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