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black

holes

Modelling an accretion disk

Ioana Ciuc, Department of Physics, University Of Durham, South Road, Durham, DH1 3LE

INTRODUCTION

manifestation of space and time and also, as

S. Chandrasekhar deemed, the perfect one. In

the general frame, black holes are described by

the Kerr metric which, in turn, is given by their

mass and angular momentum. Their strong gravity

environment can be mapped to three regions of

interest: the event horizon, beyond which nothing

can escape, the ergosphere, where even light

and spacetime bend, and the innermost stable

circular orbit orbit, which is the last radius at

which a particle can still orbit the black hole.

Chandra 0.358 keV image

of NGC 300 X-1. The source

is bounded by the green

boundary, whereas in red we

have the contribution from

the background region. It is

found that the properties of

NGC 300 X-1 are consistent

with that of a high-mass

X-ray binary a very rare

one since the companion

is

a

Wolf-Rayet

star.

Figure 2: Dotani et al. 1997

The spectra of Cyg X-1 corresponding to two different ASCA observations are

shown together with the model that fits the observations best. The model for

the disk is relativistic with a power law contribution corrected for smearing of

the Fe-K line.

hole, spinning at different rates given by the spin parameter. The nonrotating case is also modelled, both in Newtonian and General Relativity,

to notice any trends. It can be clearly seen that as the spin increases,

the temperature (evaluated at its maximum value) also increases.

We have so far modelled the variation of

the temperature and radius with the spin

parameter under a relativistic regime, and used

the results to map the accretion spectrum

as can be seen from Figure 3, 4 and 5.

FURTHER WORK

media/import/images/c/a/6/january-2010-black-hole-jet.jpg?mw=600.

ACCRETION

holes, involving either the massive black holes

at the centers of galaxies (quasars) or the

black holes in binary systems (BHB) where

the companion is the source of accretion. In

both cases, as the orbiting matter loses angular

momentum through a dissipative mechanism, it

descends on lower orbits at the expense of its

gravitational energy. The heat released in the

process radiates at X-ray frequencies for BHBs.

The loss of angular momentum is most likely to

As can be seen, there exists a clear trend that with increasing spin,

the spectrum deviates towards higher values of maximum local energy.

A profile of the efficiency of a black hole as a function of the spin

parameter is needed to make further inference.

magnetic fields and global oscillations in the

disk that can be modelled as the viscous stress

0.

( T ) =

are used to fit the observed spectra of accretion

disks; the most well-known is the ShakuraSunyaev (&Novikov-Thorne, 1973) thin disk

model which is geometrically thin (H/r << 1),

optically thick (electron and ion temperatures are

equal) and in which the gravitational energy

is radiated efficiently at each radial location.

function of the spin parameter. Notice that the negative values of the spin

simply mean that the disc rotation is retrograde (as it is the case for

quasars). It was assumed that G=c=1 so that the GM/c2 = M.

RESULTS

possibility of direct observation is forbidden,

however, there are indirect means to infer its

properties through the emission of its accretion

disk. The basic Newtonian model of such a thin

disk assumes the following temperature T profile:

rin

dM

T M

(1

),

dt

r

4

radius and r the radial distance. When general

relativity is used in the model, several effects

take place, including changes in the rate of

conversion of gravitational energy to heat and in

integrated in the relativistic model for which

a color-corrected blackbody will be assumed.

Spectra of various X-ray sources will then be

approximated using our fitting model. A remarkable

source is the binary NGC 300 X-1, in which

the companion is a Wolf-Rayet star (WR 41),

an evolved massive star which loses mass

through wind-driven mechanisms. Furthermore,

an estimate of the black hole spin will be given

for the same sources (we chose specifically

the ones for which we know the distance, the

inclination and the mass) by following a relatively

simple method: we find the radius at ISCO by

first determining the solid angle of the black

hole which is given by the flux and temperature,

then use our model to infer the black hole spin.

REFERENCES

3rd edition, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press

Davis, S. W., Done, C, Blaes, O. M.(2006). Testing accretion disk

theory in black hole X-ray binaries. ApJ 647:525-538

Shafee, R., McClintock, J. E., Narayan, R., Davis, S. W., Li, L., &

Remillard, R. A. 2006, ApJ, 636, L113

Ebisawa K.,Mitsuda, K., Hanawa, T., 1991, ApJ, 367, 213

Shafee, R., Narayan, R., & McClintock, J. E. 2008b, ApJ, 676, 549

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