Super-keplerian frequencies in accretion disks. implications for mass and spin measurements of compact objects from x-ray variability studies

S. A. Mao, Dimitrios Psaltis, John A. Milsom

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Scopus citations


The detection of fast quasi-periodic variability from accreting black holes and neutron stars has been used to constrain their masses, radii, and spins. If the observed oscillations are linear modes in the accretion disks, then bounds can be placed on the properties of the central objects by assuming that these modes are locally sub-Keplerian. If, on the other hand, the observed oscillations correspond to nonlinear resonances between disk modes, then the properties of the central objects can be measured by assuming that the resonant modes are excited at the same radial annulus in the disk. In this paper, we use numerical simulations of vertically integrated, axisymmetric hydrodynamic accretion disks to provide examples of situations in which the assumptions implicit in both methods are not satisfied. We then discuss our results for the robustness of the mass and spin measurements of compact objects from variability studies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)717-720
Number of pages4
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2009



  • Accretion, accretion disks
  • Black hole physics
  • Hydrodynamics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Space and Planetary Science
  • Astronomy and Astrophysics

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