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Paper: Disk Accretion of Tidally Disrupted Rocky Bodies onto White Dwarfs
Volume: 509, 20th European Workshop on White Dwarfs (EuroWD16)
Page: 121
Authors: Feng, W.; Desch, S.
Abstract: The prevailing model for the pollution of white dwarf photospheres invokes accretion from a disk of gas and solid particles, fed by tidal disruption of rocky bodies inside the Roche radius. Current models can successfully explain the accretion rates of metals onto white dwarfs, provided the gaseous disks viscously spread at rates consistent with a partially suppressed magnetorotational instability (Metzger et al. 2012); however, these models do not explore the extent of the magnetorotational instability in disks by calculating the degree of ionization. We present ionization fractions for thermal and non-thermal processes to assess the extent of the magnetorotational instability in white dwarf disks. We determine that the disk viscosity parameter α can be as high as 0.1 in white disks, implying that the magnetorotational instability must be carefully modeled.
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