ARlogo Annu. Rev. Astron. Astrophys. 1988. 36: 539-598
Copyright © 1998 by Annual Reviews. All rights reserved

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3.4. Observable Quantities

POWER    In the Blandford & Payne model, the ratio of jet and disk luminosities is

Equation 10 (10)

where r0 max and r0 min are the outer and inner disk radii and epsilon is an efficiency factor of transformation of binding energy at r0 min into jet power. For the estimated parameters, this ratio is always << 1; i.e. only a small fraction of the accreted mass has to go into the wind. Only for relatively high-mass discharge onto the jet, dot{m}j ~ 0.1 Modot / year ~ 0.1 dot{m}d, can the power in the jet reach Lj ~ 1046 erg s-1; this makes it difficult to explain the energetics of strong sources (see Section 2), especially when taking into account that only a small fraction can be transformed into radiation. Analytic results are confirmed substantially by the numerical simulations we discussed above. Hydromagnetic jets appear to be a very efficient way to extract energy from accretion disks, but perhaps a relativistic treatment is needed to fit the parameters well.

In this respect, unipolar inductor-type models are more promising. Camenzind (1998) showed that the Poynting flux of a rotating axisymmetric Kerr black hole magnetosphere can carry a magnetic luminosity:

Equation 11 (11)

where Omegah is the rotational velocity at the Kerr horizon and Ih the total current and Psih the magnetic flux, respectively, integrated over the horizon.

While the understanding of the jet dynamics has progressed substantially, the problem of powering jets and enabling them to emit nonthermal radiation with luminosities up to ~ 1047 erg s-1 is still far from being solved.

ASYMPTOTIC BULK VELOCITY    In most jets, asymptotic bulk velocity is estimated indirectly through proper motions at VLBI resolution or through advancement velocities of extended structures or required Doppler beaming. This bulk velocity has to be supersonic and, in the inner portion of jets, relativistic, with Lorentz factors up to gammabulk ~ 20. In general, the asymptotic velocity of outflows in hydromagnetic models is a few times the Keplerian velocity at the base of the flow, which corresponds to super-Alfvènic and relativistic velocities and allows Lorentz factors that are as large as needed, gammabulk ~ 10-20. Kudoh & Shibata (1995) have investigated 1.5-D steady MHD winds from accretion disks, including thermal effects, and they obtained a relation between the jet mass flux and the magnetic energy of the disk. Their calculations confirm the above results for the terminal velocity with a weak dependence on the magnetic energy of the disk, vinfty propto B1/3.

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