Abbreviated Journal Title
Astrophys. J. Lett.
accretion, accretion disks; binaries: close; binaries: general; novae, ; cataclysmic variables; stars: dwarf novae; PARTICLE HYDRODYNAMICS SIMULATIONS; X-RAY; DISCS; BINARIES; Astronomy & Astrophysics
Accretion disks around black hole, neutron star, and white dwarf systems are thought to sometimes tilt, retrogradely precess, and produce hump-shaped modulations in light curves that have a period shorter than the orbital period. Although artificially rotating numerically simulated accretion disks out of the orbital plane and around the line of nodes generate these short-period superhumps and retrograde precession of the disk, no numerical code to date has been shown to produce a disk tilt naturally. In this work, we report the first naturally tilted disk in non-magnetic cataclysmic variables using three-dimensional smoothed particle hydrodynamics. Our simulations show that after many hundreds of orbital periods, the disk has tilted on its own and this disk tilt is without the aid of radiation sources or magnetic fields. As the system orbits, the accretion stream strikes the bright spot (which is on the rim of the tilted disk) and flows over and under the disk on different flow paths. These different flow paths suggest the lift force as a source to disk tilt. Our results confirm the disk shape, disk structure, and negative superhump period and support the source to disk tilt, source to retrograde precession, and location associated with X-ray and He II emission from the disk as suggested in previous works. Our results identify the fundamental negative superhump frequency as the indicator of disk tilt around the line of nodes.
Astrophysical Journal Letters
Montgomery, M. M., "Numerical Simulations of Naturally Tilted, Retrogradely Precessing, Nodal Superhumping Accretion Disks" (2012). Faculty Bibliography 2010s. 3042.