On the origin of episodic accretion in dwarf novae

Charles F. Gammie, Kristen Menou

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We show that dwarf nova disks in quiescence have rather low magnetic Reynolds numbers, of order 103. Numerical simulations of magnetized accretion disks suggest that under these conditions magnetohydrodynamic turbulence and the associated angular momentum transport is sharply reduced. This could be the physical origin of episodic accretion in dwarf nova disks. If so, the standard disk instability model needs to be revised.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)L75-L78
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number1 PART II
StatePublished - 1998


  • Accretion, accretion disks
  • MHD
  • Novae, cataclysmic variables
  • Turbulence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science

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