Solving the angular momentum problem in the cold feedback mechanism of cooling flows

Fabio Pizzolato*, Noam Soker

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

55 Scopus citations


We show that cold clumps in the intracluster medium (ICM) efficiently lose their angular momentum as they fall in, such that they can rapidly feed the central active galactic nucleus and maintain a heating feedback process. Such cold clumps are predicted by the cold feedback model, a model for maintaining the ICM in cooling flows hot by a feedback process. The clumps very effectively lose their angular momentum in two channels: the drag force exerted by the ICM and the random collisions between clumps when they are close to the central black hole. We conclude that the angular momentum cannot prevent the accretion of the cold clumps, and the cold feedback mechanism is a viable model for a feedback mechanism in cooling flows. Cold feedback does not suffer from the severe problems of models that are based on the Bondi accretion.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)961-974
Number of pages14
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Issue number2
StatePublished - Oct 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Galaxies: clusters: general
  • Galaxies: clusters: individual: Virgo
  • Galaxies: clusters: intracluster medium
  • X-rays: galaxies: clusters

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