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Tomographic reflection modelling of quasi-periodic oscillations in the black hole binary H 1743-322

Ingram, Adam and van der Klis, Michiel and Middleton, Matthew and Altamirano, Diego and Uttley, Phil (2017) Tomographic reflection modelling of quasi-periodic oscillations in the black hole binary H 1743-322. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 464 (3). pp. 2979-2991. ISSN 0035-8711. doi:10.1093/mnras/stw2581.

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Accreting stellar mass black holes (BHs) routinely exhibit Type-C quasi-periodic oscillations (QPOs). These are often interpreted as Lense–Thirring precession of the inner accretion flow, a relativistic effect whereby the spin of the BH distorts the surrounding space–time, inducing nodal precession. The best evidence for the precession model is the recent discovery, using a long joint XMM–Newton and NuSTAR observation of H 1743−322, that the centroid energy of the iron florescence line changes systematically with QPO phase. This was interpreted as the inner flow illuminating different azimuths of the accretion disc as it precesses, giving rise to a blueshifted/redshifted iron line when the approaching/receding disc material is illuminated. Here, we develop a physical model for this interpretation, including a self-consistent reflection continuum, and fit this to the same H 1743−322 data. We use an analytic function to parametrize the asymmetric illumination pattern on the disc surface that would result from inner flow precession, and find that the data are well described if two bright patches rotate about the disc surface. This model is preferred to alternatives considering an oscillating disc ionization parameter, disc inner radius and radial emissivity profile. We find that the reflection fraction varies with QPO phase (3.5σ), adding to the now formidable body of evidence that Type-C QPOs are a geometric effect. This is the first example of tomographic QPO modelling, initiating a powerful new technique that utilizes QPOs in order to map the dynamics of accreting material close to the BH.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription Paper
Ingram, Adam0000-0002-5311-9078
van der Klis, Michiel0000-0003-0070-9872
Altamirano, Diego0000-0002-3422-0074
Additional Information:© 2016 The Authors. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Royal Astronomical Society. Accepted 2016 October 6. Received 2016 October 4; in original form 2016 July 29; Editorial Decision 2016 October 4. Published: 08 October 2016.
Subject Keywords:accretion, accretion discs, black hole physics, X-rays: individual: H 1743−322
Issue or Number:3
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20161006-121429546
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:Adam Ingram, Michiel van der Klis, Matthew Middleton, Diego Altamirano, Phil Uttley; Tomographic reflection modelling of quasi-periodic oscillations in the black hole binary H 1743−322, Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, Volume 464, Issue 3, 21 January 2017, Pages 2979–2991,
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:70919
Deposited By: Joy Painter
Deposited On:12 Oct 2016 22:45
Last Modified:11 Nov 2021 04:37

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