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Physical parameter mapping of accretion disks


We propose to extend the Eclipse Mapping Method in order to reconstruct the physical properties of accretion disks in cataclysmic variables. By combining physical models with the observed eclipse data this new method will lead to a set of self-consistant tomograms mappin the physical properties rather than just the appearances of the disks. Since accretion disks are found in a wide range of totally different systems (Active Galactic Nuclei, Young stellar objects, X-ray binaries), our hope is that the possibility of including important but previously neglected physical effects in this one class of objects will yield results capable of solving a fundamental astrophysical riddle: the source of the viscosity in accretion disics.
Our project lies in the field of interest of several european astronomical institutes (astrophysical tomography) among which St. Andrews has a central position. A direct collaboration with our colleagues there will speed up our progress considerably.


University of St. Andrews
North Haugh
KY16 9SS St. Andrews
United Kingdom

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