A Simple Comptonization Model

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A Simple Comptonization Model

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Title: A Simple Comptonization Model
Author: Steiner, James; Narayan, Ramesh; McClintock, Jeffrey E.; Ebisawa, Ken

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Citation: Steiner, James F., Ramesh Narayan, Jeffrey E. McClintock, and Ken Ebisawa. 2009. “A Simple Comptonization Model.” Publications of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific 121 (885) (November): 1279–1290. doi:10.1086/648535.
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Abstract: We present an empirical model of Comptonization for fitting the spectra of X-ray binaries. This model, "simpl", has been developed as a package implemented in XSPEC. With only two free parameters, simpl is competitive as the simplest empirical model of Compton scattering. Unlike other empirical models, such as the standard power-law model, simpl incorporates the basic physics of Compton scattering of soft photons by energetic coronal electrons. Using a simulated spectrum, we demonstrate that simpl closely matches the behavior of physical Comptonization models which consider the effects of optical depth, coronal electron temperature, and geometry. We present fits to RXTE spectra of the black-hole transient H1743-322 and a BeppoSAX spectrum of LMC X-3 using both simpl and the standard power-law model. A comparison of the results shows that simpl gives equally good fits and a comparable spectral index, while eliminating the troublesome divergence of the standard power-law model at low energies. Importantly, simpl is completely flexible and can be used self-consistently with any seed spectrum of photons. We show that simpl - unlike the standard power law - teamed up with diskbb (the standard model of disk accretion) gives results for the inner-disk radius that are unaffected by strong Comptonization, a result of great importance for the determination of black hole spin via the continuum-fitting method.
Published Version: 10.1086/648535
Terms of Use: This article is made available under the terms and conditions applicable to Open Access Policy Articles, as set forth at http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:dash.current.terms-of-use#OAP
Citable link to this page: http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:29086934
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