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Non-linear dynamics of hydrodynamic tori as a model of oscillations and bending waves in astrophysical discs

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Fairbairn, CW 
Ogilvie, GI 


Understanding oscillations and waves in astrophysical fluid bodies helps to elucidate their observed variability and the underlying physical mechanisms. Indeed, global oscillations and bending modes of accretion discs or tori may be relevant to quasi-periodicity and warped structures around compact objects. While most studies rely on linear theory, observationally significant, nonlinear dynamics is still poorly understood, especially in Keplerian discs for which resonances typically demand a separate treatment. In this work we introduce a novel analytical model which exactly solves the ideal, compressible fluid equations for a non-self-gravitating elliptical cylinder within a local shearing sheet. The aspect ratio of the ring is an adjustable parameter, allowing a continuum of models ranging from a torus of circular cross-section to a thin ring. We restrict attention to flow fields which are a linear function of the coordinates, capturing the lowest order global motions and reducing the dynamics to a set of coupled ordinary differential equations (ODEs). This system acts as a framework for exploring a rich range of hydrodynamic phenomena in both the large amplitude and Keplerian regimes. We demonstrate the connection between tilting tori and warped discs within this model, showing that the linear modes of the ring correspond to oppositely precessing global bending modes. These are further confirmed within a numerical grid based simulation. Crucially, the ODE system developed here allows for a more tractable investigation of nonlinear dynamics. This will be demonstrated in a subsequent paper which evidences mode coupling between warping and vertical motions in thin tilted rings.




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Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

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Oxford University Press (OUP)


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Science and Technology Facilities Council (ST/P000673/1)
STFC (ST/T00049X/1)
Science and Technology Facilities Council (2267215)