Black hole spin evolution affected by magnetic field decay

Anna Chashkina*, Pavel Abolmasov

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Black holes are spun up by accreting matter and possibly spun down by magnetic fields. In our work we consider the effect on black hole rotation of the two electromagnetic processes, Blandford-Znajek and direct magnetic link, that differ in their magnetic field configuration. The efficiency of these processes varies with mass accretion rate and accretion regime and generally result in an equilibrium spin parameter in the range from 0.35 to ~0.98. Magnetic field loses its energy while being accreted that may lead to an increase in equilibrium Kerr parameter for the case of advection-dominated disc.We find magnetic field decay can decrease electromagnetic term significantly thus increasing the Kerr parameter. We have performed Monte Carlo simulations for a supermassive black hole population. Our simulations show broad distributions in Kerr parameter (0.1 ≲ a ≲ 0.98) with a peak at a ~ 0.6. ~ To explain the high observational Kerr parameter values of a ≳ 0.9, episodes of supercritical accretion are required. This implication does not however take into account black hole mergers (that play an important role for supermassive black hole evolution).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1829-1847
Number of pages19
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Issue number2
StatePublished - 11 Jan 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Black hole physics
  • Magnetic fields


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