An affine model of the dynamics of astrophysical discs

28 Feb 2018  ·  Ogilvie Gordon I. ·

Thin astrophysical discs are very often modelled using the equations of two-dimensional hydrodynamics. We derive an extension of this model that describes more accurately the behaviour of a thin disc in the absence of self-gravity, magnetic fields and complex internal motions... The ideal fluid theory is derived directly from Hamilton's Principle for a three-dimensional fluid after making a specific approximation to the deformation gradient tensor. We express the equations in Eulerian form after projection on to a reference plane. The disc is thought of as a set of fluid columns, each of which is capable of a time-dependent affine transformation, consisting of a translation together with a linear transformation in three dimensions. Therefore, in addition to the usual two-dimensional hydrodynamics in the reference plane, the theory allows for a deformation of the midplane (as occurs in warped discs) and for the internal shearing motions that accompany such deformations. It also allows for the vertical expansions driven in non-circular discs by a variation of the vertical gravitational field around the horizontal streamlines, or by a divergence of the horizontal velocity. The equations of the affine model embody conservation laws for energy and potential vorticity, even for non-planar discs. We verify that they reproduce exactly the linear theories of three-dimensional warped and eccentric discs in a secular approximation. However, the affine model does not rely on any secular or small-amplitude assumptions and should be useful in more general circumstances. read more

PDF Abstract
No code implementations yet. Submit your code now


Solar and Stellar Astrophysics