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Stratified Shearing Box Simulations of Two-temperature AGN Coronae

Presentation #106.57 in the session “AGN (Poster)”.

Published onApr 01, 2022
Stratified Shearing Box Simulations of Two-temperature AGN Coronae

X-ray observations of luminous active galactic nuclei (AGN) with accretion rates exceeding a few percent of the Eddington rate show a hard power law component with a cut-off energy above 100 keV. This component is thought to be associated with a hot, compact, magnetically-dominated corona in analogy with that of the Sun. In AGN coronae, the Compton cooling time is much shorter than the ion-electron temperature equilibration time, and thus these systems are likely two-temperature plasmas, with the ion temperature exceeding the electron temperature. Motivated by this fact, we present a two-temperature model for AGN coronae. In our model, ions are treated as an ideal MHD fluid cooled via Coulomb collisions with electrons, which remove energy instantaneously through Compton scattering with a strong background radiation field. Using the shearing box framework in Athena++, we explore how such a two-temperature cooling function affects the local structure of coronae. Specifically, we describe the thermodynamics, vertical distribution of turbulent stresses, heating of the transition layers between the disk and extraplanar corona, and winds driven from our model accretion disk. This work serves as a first step toward an exploration of the effect of cooling on coronal heating, turbulent transport, and disk structure in radiatively efficient accretion flows.

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