76,805 research outputs found

    Iron K-alpha Emission from X-ray Reflection: Predictions for Gamma-Ray Burst Models

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    Recent observations of several gamma-ray burst (GRB) afterglows have shown evidence for a large amount of X-ray line emitting material, possibly arising from ionized iron. A significant detection of an X-ray spectral feature, such as that found in the Chandra observation of GRB 991216, may provide important constraints on the immediate environment of the burst and hence on progenitor models. The large Fe K-alpha equivalent widths inferred from the X-ray observations favor models in which the line is produced when the primary X-ray emission from the source strikes Thomson-thick material and Compton scatters into our line of sight. We present such reflection spectra here, computed in a fully self-consistent manner, and discuss the range of ionization parameters that may be relevant to different models of GRBs. We argue that the presence of a strong hydrogen-like K-alpha line is unlikely, because Fe-XXVI photons would be trapped resonantly and removed from the line core by Compton scattering. In contrast, a strong narrow emission line from He-like Fe-XXV is prominent in the model spectra. We briefly discuss how these constraints may affect the line energy determination in GRB 991216.Comment: 8 pages, 3 figures, Ap.J. Letters accepte

    X-ray reflection in accreting stellar-mass black hole systems

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    The X-ray spectra of accreting stellar-mass black hole systems exhibit spectral features due to reflection, especially broad iron K alpha emission lines. We investigate the reflection by the accretion disc that can be expected in the high/soft state of such a system. First, we perform a self-consistent calculation of the reflection that results from illumination of a hot, inner portion of the disc with its atmosphere in hydrostatic equilibrium. Then we present reflection spectra for a range of illumination strengths and disc temperatures under the assumption of a constant-density atmosphere. Reflection by a hot accretion disc differs in important ways from that of a much cooler disc, such as that expected in an active galactic nucleus.Comment: 5 pages with 9 figures, accepted for publication in MNRA

    On the interpretation of the multicolour disc model for black hole candidates

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    We present a critical analysis of the usual interpretation of the multicolour disc model parameters for black hole candidates in terms of the inner radius and temperature of the accretion disc. Using a self-consistent model for the radiative transfer and the vertical temperature structure in a Shakura-Sunyaev disc, we simulate the observed disc spectra, taking into account doppler blurring and gravitational redshift, and fit them with multicolour models. We show not only that such a model systematically underestimates the value of the inner disc radius, but that when the accretion rate and/or the energy dissipated in the corona are allowed to change the inner edge of the disc, as inferred from the multicolour model, appears to move even when it is in fact fixed at the innermost stable orbit.Comment: 4 pages including 2 figures, accepted for publication in MNRA

    Spin Effects in Long Range Gravitational Scattering

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    We study the gravitational scattering of massive particles with and without spin in the effective theory of gravity at one loop level. Our focus is on long distance effects arising from nonanalytic components of the scattering amplitude and we show that the spin-independent and the spin-dependent long range components exhibit a universal form. Both classical and quantum corrections are obtained, and the definition of a proper second order potential is discussed.Comment: 51 pages, 8 figure

    Topological properties of spaces admitting free group actions

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    In 1992, David Wright proved a remarkable theorem about which contractible open manifolds are covering spaces. He showed that if a one-ended open manifold M has pro-monomorphic fundamental group at infinity which is not pro-trivial and is not stably Z, then M does not cover any manifold (except itself). In the non-manifold case, Wright's method showed that when a one-ended, simply connected, locally compact ANR X with pro-monomorphic fundamental group at infinity admits an action of Z by covering transformations then the fundamental group at infinity of X is (up to pro-isomorphism) an inverse sequence of finitely generated free groups. We improve upon this latter result, by showing that X must have a stable finitely generated free fundamental group at infinity. Simple examples show that a free group of any finite rank is possible. We also prove that if X (as above), admits a non-cocompact action of Z+Z by covering transformations, then X is simply connected at infinity. Corollary: Every finitely presented one-ended group G which contains an element of infinite order satisfies exactly one of the following: 1) G is simply connected at infinity; 2) G is virtually a surface group; 3) The fundamental group at infinity of G is not pro-monomorphic. Our methods also provide a quick new proof of Wright's open manifold theorem.Comment: Revised version with a shorter proof of the main theorem, plus numerous small corrections. To appear in the Journal of Topology. 31 pages, 4 figure
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