Jets and the accretion flow in low-luminosity black holes
Gardner, E.; Done, C.
The X-ray spectra of black hole binaries (BHB) in the low/hard state (LHS) first harden as the flux decreases, then soften. This change in behaviour has been variously attributed to either the X-rays switching from being produced in the flow to being dominated by the jet, or to the flow switching seed photons from the disc to self-generated seed photons from cyclo-synchrotron. Here, we build a simple truncated disc, hot inner flow, plus standard conical synchrotron jet model to explore what this predicts for the X-ray emission mechanism as a function of mass accretion rate. We find that the change in X-ray spectral index can be quantitatively (not just qualitatively) explained by the seed photon switch in the hot flow, i.e. this supports models where the X-rays are always produced by the hot flow. By contrast, standard conical jet models are as radiatively inefficient as the hot flow so there is no transition in X-ray production mechanism with ṁ. Including the effects of electron cooling allows the jet X-rays to drop more slowly with accretion rate and hence overtake the X-rays from the hot flow; however, this produces a corresponding change in the radio–X-ray correlation, which is not observed. We argue that the unbroken radio–X-ray correlation down to quiescence rules out the jet transition model as an explanation for the trend in X-ray spectral index. Our favoured model is then a truncated disc with an inner, hot, radiatively inefficient flow which always dominates the hard X-rays, coupled to a conical synchrotron jet which produces the radio emission. However, even this has issues at low m˙m˙ as the low optical depth and high temperature of the flow means that the Compton spectrum is not well approximated by a power law. This shows the need for a more sophisticated model for the electron distribution in the hot flow.
Gardner, E., & Done, C. (2013). Jets and the accretion flow in low-luminosity black holes. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 434(4), 3454-3462. https://doi.org/10.1093/mnras/stt1257
|Journal Article Type||Article|
|Acceptance Date||Jul 9, 2013|
|Online Publication Date||Jul 26, 2013|
|Publication Date||Oct 1, 2013|
|Deposit Date||Mar 16, 2016|
|Publicly Available Date||Mar 18, 2016|
|Journal||Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society|
|Publisher||Royal Astronomical Society|
|Peer Reviewed||Peer Reviewed|
|Related Public URLs||http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/2013MNRAS.434.3454G|
Published Journal Article
This article has been accepted for publication in Monthly notices of the Royal Astronomical Society ©: 2013 The Authors Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Royal Astronomical Society. All rights reserved.
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