A8 Transition to turbulence in accretion disks

Dr. Björn Hof, Prof. Dr. Andreas Tilgner

Turbulence is believed to play a key role in redistributing angular momentum in accretion discs, a process necessary to explain the rate at which matter accumulates at the central object. Although the Reynolds numbers in such discs are very high, rotation has a stabilizing effect and it is not clear if turbulence can arise as a result of a purely hydrodynamic mechanism or if it can only be triggered by other mechanisms (e.g. magnetic or baroclinic instabilities). We here carry out a combined experimental and numerical study to investigate if nonlinear (hydrodynamic) instabilities can trigger turbulence at high parameter values.