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Accretion disks around rapidly rotating black holes provide one of the few plausible models for the production of intense radiation in AGNs above energies of several hundred MeV. The rapid rotation of the hole increases the binding energy per nucleon in the last stable orbit relative to the Schwarzschild case, and naturally leads to ion temperatures in the range 10^12-10^13 K for sub-Eddington accretion rates. The protons in the hot inner region of a steady, two-temperature disk form a reservoir of energy that is sufficient to power the observed EGRET outbursts if the black hole mass is 10^10 M0 • Moreover, the accretion timescale for the inner region is comparable to the observed transient timescale of -1 week. Hence EGRET outbursts may be driven by instabilities in hot, two-temperature disks around supermassive black holes. In this paper we discuss turbulent (stochastic) acceleration in hot disks as a possible source of Ge V particles and radiation. We constrain the model by assuming the turbulence is powered by a collective instability that drains energy from the hot protons. We also provide some ideas concerning new, high-energy Penrose processes that produce GeV emission be directly tapping the rotational energy of Kerr black holes.


This article was originally published in Astrophysical Journal Supplement Series, volume 90, in 1994. DOI: 10.1086/191930

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IOP Publishing



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