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Novel spectral-timing methods for X-ray binary variability studies

Novel spectral-timing methods for X-ray binary variability studies
Novel spectral-timing methods for X-ray binary variability studies
This work explores the connection between the spectral properties of the X-ray emission produced by black hole X-ray binaries (BHXRBs) and the variability properties of these sources that are embedded in lightcurves. While BHXRBs are mostly studied using ‘static observables‘ such as the average energy spectrum, a variability timescale-resolved study (in terms of Fourier-frequencies) provides a much stronger and more reliable tool for understanding the intricate physics and geometrical properties of accretion flows around stellar-mass black holes.

In the present Thesis, we first show how the geometrical properties of the accretion disc can be mapped by combining spectra and frequency-resolved time-lags. A time-scale-dependent reflection model is developed in terms of Fourier-frequencies and compared to observational hard-state data of GX 339–4 obtainedwithXMM-Newton. Secondly, we explore the variability properties of the accretion disc in SWIFT J1753.5–0127 using a combination of novel spectraltiming methods and the soft X-ray coverage of XMM-Newton. Finally, we show the development of a novel technique for fitting correlated signals in the Fourier domain as a function of energy and Fourier-frequency that can prove particularly useful with high signal-to-noise datasets fromfuture X-ray missions.
Cassatella, Pablo M.
8d3b1747-c77b-438d-8ffb-af6ee2b07d43
Cassatella, Pablo M.
8d3b1747-c77b-438d-8ffb-af6ee2b07d43
Maccarone, Thomas J.
27e6101c-8fa4-41db-ba75-d2ee3d1a0c53

Cassatella, Pablo M. (2012) Novel spectral-timing methods for X-ray binary variability studies. University of Southampton, Faculty of Physical and Applied Sciences, Doctoral Thesis, 119pp.

Record type: Thesis (Doctoral)

Abstract

This work explores the connection between the spectral properties of the X-ray emission produced by black hole X-ray binaries (BHXRBs) and the variability properties of these sources that are embedded in lightcurves. While BHXRBs are mostly studied using ‘static observables‘ such as the average energy spectrum, a variability timescale-resolved study (in terms of Fourier-frequencies) provides a much stronger and more reliable tool for understanding the intricate physics and geometrical properties of accretion flows around stellar-mass black holes.

In the present Thesis, we first show how the geometrical properties of the accretion disc can be mapped by combining spectra and frequency-resolved time-lags. A time-scale-dependent reflection model is developed in terms of Fourier-frequencies and compared to observational hard-state data of GX 339–4 obtainedwithXMM-Newton. Secondly, we explore the variability properties of the accretion disc in SWIFT J1753.5–0127 using a combination of novel spectraltiming methods and the soft X-ray coverage of XMM-Newton. Finally, we show the development of a novel technique for fitting correlated signals in the Fourier domain as a function of energy and Fourier-frequency that can prove particularly useful with high signal-to-noise datasets fromfuture X-ray missions.

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Published date: 17 October 2012
Organisations: University of Southampton, Astronomy Group

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 346836
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/346836
PURE UUID: 7e381add-dba6-495b-85c1-db87b6a6a692

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Date deposited: 25 Feb 2013 12:02
Last modified: 18 Jul 2017 05:01

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