One of the biggest challenges in understanding the fuelling of supermassive black holes in active galactic nuclei (AGN) is not on accounting for the source of fuel, as a galaxy can comfortably supply the required mass budget, but on its actual delivery. While a clear picture has been developed for the large scale (~ kpc) down to the intermediate one (~ 100 pc), and for the smallest scales (~ 0.1 pc) where an accretion disc likely forms, a bridge that has proven difficult to build is that between ~ 100 pc and ~ 0.1 pc. It is feared that gas at these scales might still retain enough angular momentum and settle into a larger scale disc with very low or no inflow to form or replenish the inner accretion disc (on ~ 0.01 pc scales). In this Thesis, we present numerical simulations in which a rotating gaseous shell flows towards a SMBH because of its lack of rotational support. As inflow proceeds, gas from the shell impacts an already present nuclear (~ 10pc) disc. The cancellation of angular momentum and redistribution of gas, due to the misalignment between the angular momentum of the shell and that of the disc, is studied in this scenario. The underlying hypothesis is that even if transport of angular momentum at these scales may be inefficient, the interaction of an inflow with a nuclear disc would still provide a mechanism to bring mass inwards because of the cancellation of angular momentum. We quantify the amount of gas such a cancellation would bring to the central parsec under different circumstances: Co- and counter-rotation between the disc and the shell and the presence or absence of an initial turbulent kick; we also discuss the impact of self gravity in our simulations. The scenario we study is highly idealized and designed to capture the specific outcomes produced by the mechanism proposed. We find that angular momentum cancellation and redistribution via hydrodynamical shocks leads to sub-pc inflows enhanced by more than 2-3 orders of magnitude. In all of our simulations, the gas inflow rate across the inner parsec is higher than in the absence of the interaction. Gas mixing changes the orientation of the nuclear disc as the interaction proceeds until warped discs or nested misaligned rings form as relic structures. The amount of inflow depends mainly on the spin orientation of the shell relative to the disc, while the relic warped disc structure depends mostly on the turbulent kick given to the gaseous shell in the initial conditions. The main conclusion of this Thesis is that actual cancellation of angular momentum within galactic nuclei can have a significant impact on feeding super massive black holes. Such cancellation by inflowdisc interactions would leave warped 10 - 20 pc discs as remnants.
|Autori:||Carmona Loaiza, Juan Manuel|
|Titolo:||AGN fuelling: bridging large and small scales|
|Relatore/i esterni:||Dotti, Massimo|
|Data di pubblicazione:||26-mag-2015|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||8.1 PhD thesis|
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