Powerful jets from radiatively efficient disks, a decades-old unresolved problem in high energy astrophysics

Chandra B. Singh, Yunnan University
David Garofalo, Kennesaw State University
Benjamin Lang, California State University, Northridge


The discovery of 3C 273 in 1963, and the emergence of the Kerr solution shortly thereafter, precipitated the current era in astrophysics focused on using black holes to explain active galactic nuclei (AGN). But while partial success was achieved in separately explaining the bright nuclei of some AGN via thin disks, as well as powerful jets with thick disks, the combination of both powerful jets in an AGN with a bright nucleus, such as in 3C 273, remained elusive. Although numerical simulations have taken center stage in the last 25 years, they have struggled to produce the conditions that explain them. This is because radiatively efficient disks have proved a challenge to simulate. Radio quasars have thus been the least understood objects in high energy astrophysics. But recent simulations have begun to change this. We explore this milestone in light of scale-invariance and show that transitory jets, possibly related to the jets seen in these recent simulations, as some have proposed, cannot explain radio quasars. We then provide a road map for a resolution.