OKC Colloquium - Lessons on Super-Eddington Accretion Learnt from Tidal Disruption Events

In a tidal disruption event (TDE), a star approaches very close to a supermassive black hole and is therefore torn apart by the overpowering tidal force. Stellar debris is then fed to the black hole at a rate largely exceeding the Eddington accretion rate. Therefore, TDEs provide a unique opportunity for studying black hole super-Eddington accretion in the local universe. In this talk, I will first give a review of TDE theory and multi-wavelength observations. Then I will talk about the results of our general-relativistic radiation magnetohydrodynamic simulations of TDE super-Eddington disks. Winds and relativistic jets are launched from the radiation-pressure dominated thick disks. The total luminosity can exceed the Eddington luminosity. The emission produced from the inner disk is heavily reprocessed in the winds, and the observed flux and spectral energy distribution sensitively depend on the viewing angle of the observer. I will show how this model can solve some puzzles posed by latest TDE observations.