Tidal disruption events as a probe of super-Eddington accretion

The tidal disruption of a star by a massive black hole provides a unique opportunity to understand the physics of accretion onto black holes. In the first few months of the burst, a large fraction of the stellar material is supplied to the black hole. During this phase the material supply rate can greatly exceed the Eddington accretion rate, giving us a perfect window to peek into super-Eddington accretion. In this talk, I will first show the observational evidence we found that a jetted tidal disruption event (TDE) Sw 1644 indeed exhibited signatures of super-Eddington accretion. Then I will give a quick overview on TDE physics, and present our theoretical calculations on what parameters of the black hole mass and stellar orbit can lead to fast disk assembly and super-Eddington accretion. Lastly, I will talk about our ongoing general relativistic radiation magnetohydrodynamics simulations of super-Eddington accretion disks in the context of TDEs. Such simulations can hopefully provide us some answers to the dichotomy of optical/UV and X-ray selected TDEs.

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