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  • Abstract: Testing the Role of Strong Magnetic Fields in Stabilizing Radiation-Pressure-Dominated Black Hole Accretion Disks, Y2
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In recent global, general relativistic numerical simulations carried out on Stampede, we have demonstrated that radiation-pressure-dominated thin disks accreting close to the Eddington limit are thermally unstable (they collapse or expand vertically on the local thermal timescale). These results are in one sense not surprising, as they confirm a 40 year old prediction, yet they appear to be in conflict with 20+ years of observations of accreting black holes, which show disks accreting in this range to be exceedingly stable. One possible solution to this dilemma is that strong magnetic fields could be at play, effectively stabilizing these disks. What we are proposing is a carefully designed set of follow up simulations to test plausible magnetic field configurations and the resulting thermal properties (stability or instability).

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