High-Frequency QPOs and Overstable Oscillations of Black-Hole Accretion Disks

Dong Lai, Wen Fu, David Tsang, Jiri Horak, Cong Yu

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9 Citations (SciVal)


The physical origin of high-frequency QPOs (HFQPOs) in black-hole X-ray binaries remains an enigma despite many years of detailed observational studies. Although there exists a number of models for HFQPOs, many of these are simply ``notions'' or ``concepts'' without actual calculation derived from fluid or disk physics. Future progress requires a combination of numerical simulations and semi-analytic studies to extract physical insights. We review recent works on global oscillation modes in black-hole accretion disks, and explain how, with the help of general relativistic effects, the energy stored in the disk differential rotation can be pumped into global spiral density modes in the disk, making these modes grow to large amplitudes under certain conditions (``corotational instability''). These modes are robust in the presence of disk magnetic fields and turbulence. The computed oscillation mode frequencies are largely consistent with the observed values for HFQPOs in BH X-ray binaries. The approximate 2:3 frequency ratio is also expected from this model. The connection of HFQPOs with other disk properties (such as production of episodic jets) is also discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)57-61
Number of pages5
JournalProceedings of the International Astronomical Union
Issue numberS290
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2012


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