Energized winds Academic Article uri icon


  • The general theory of winds whose energy flux increases along the flow trajectories, but without momentum deposition, is developed. It is shown that the sonic point is generally within the region of significant energy deposition or at its boundary. Assuming that the energy is deposited into a thin layer, it is shown that the jump conditions across the layer imply that the fluid jumps to a Mach number of one just downstream of the deposition layer if the deposited energy per unit area exceeds some critical amount. This result is used to estimate the incident flux needed to excite wind from a stellar surface in terms of the star's mass and the penetration grammage of the incident flux. The expected mass flux from the star bombarded by a 'supercritical' energy flux is calculated, and the results are compared to the measured P-dot/P of Cyg X-3.

publication date

  • January 1, 1988