Adam R. Ingram - Anton Pannekoek Institute for Astronomy

Adam R. Ingram
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Adam R. Ingram
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Anton Pannekoek Institute for Astronomy
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High Energy Astrophysical Phenomena (15)
 
Solar and Stellar Astrophysics (4)
 
General Relativity and Quantum Cosmology (2)
 
Astrophysics of Galaxies (1)
 
Instrumentation and Methods for Astrophysics (1)

Publications Authored By Adam R. Ingram

Magnetized neutron stars power at least some ultra-luminous X-ray sources. The accretion flow in these cases is interrupted at the magnetospheric radius and then reaches the surface of a neutron star following magnetic field lines. Accreting matter moving along magnetic field lines forms the accretion envelope around the central object. Read More

We model the energy dependence of a quasi periodic oscillation (QPOs) produced by Lense-Thirring precession of a hot inner flow. We use a fully 3-dimensional Monte-Carlo code to compute the Compton scattered flux produced by the hot inner flow intercepting seed photons from an outer truncated standard disc. The changing orientation of the precessing torus relative to the line of sight produces the observed modulation of the X-ray flux. Read More

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 fluorescence line changes systematically with QPO phase. Read More

Accreting stellar-mass black holes often show a `Type-C' quasi-periodic oscillation (QPO) in their X-ray flux, and an iron emission line in their X-ray spectrum. The iron line is generated through continuum photons reflecting off the accretion disk, and its shape is distorted by relativistic motion of the orbiting plasma and the gravitational pull of the black hole. The physical origin of the QPO has long been debated, but is often attributed to Lense-Thirring precession, a General Relativistic effect causing the inner flow to precess as the spinning black hole twists up the surrounding space-time. Read More

We present a model-independent analysis of the short-timescale energy dependence of low frequency quasi-periodic oscillations (QPOs) in the X-ray flux of GRS 1915+105. The QPO frequency in this source has previously been observed to depend on photon energy, with the frequency increasing with energy for observations with a high ($\gtrsim 2$ Hz) QPO frequency, and decreasing with energy for observations with a low ($\lesssim 2$ Hz) QPO frequency. As this observed energy dependence is currently unexplained, we investigate if it is intrinsic to the QPO mechanism by tracking phase lags on (sub)second timescales. Read More

Black hole binary systems can emit very bright and rapidly varying X-ray signals when material from the companion accretes onto the black hole, liberating huge amounts of gravitational potential energy. Central to this process of accretion is turbulence. In the propagating mass accretion rate fluctuations model, turbulence is generated throughout the inner accretion flow, causing fluctuations in the accretion rate. Read More

2015Oct
Affiliations: 1Washington University in Saint Louis, Physics Department and McDonnell Center for the Space Sciences, 2Jet Propulsion Laboratory, 3California Institute of Technology, Cahill Center for Astronomy and Astrophysics, 4Washington University in Saint Louis, Physics Department and McDonnell Center for the Space Sciences, 5Washington University in Saint Louis, Physics Department and McDonnell Center for the Space Sciences, 6Washington University in Saint Louis, Physics Department and McDonnell Center for the Space Sciences, 7Washington University in Saint Louis, Physics Department and McDonnell Center for the Space Sciences, 8Washington University in Saint Louis, Physics Department and McDonnell Center for the Space Sciences, 9Washington University in Saint Louis, Physics Department and McDonnell Center for the Space Sciences, 10Anton Pannekoek Institute for Astronomy, 11California Institute of Technology, Cahill Center for Astronomy and Astrophysics, 12California Institute of Technology, Cahill Center for Astronomy and Astrophysics, 13Jet Propulsion Laboratory, 14Jet Propulsion Laboratory, 15Rice University, Department of Physics and Astronomy, 16Washington University in Saint Louis, Physics Department and McDonnell Center for the Space Sciences, 17Georgia College, Department of Chemistry, Physics, and Astronomy, 18Jet Propulsion Laboratory, 19Jet Propulsion Laboratory, 20North-West University, Centre for Space Research, 21Technical University of Denmark, DTU Space, National Space Institute, 22Yale University, Department of Astronomy, 23Washington University in Saint Louis, Physics Department and McDonnell Center for the Space Sciences, 24University of Virginia, Department of Astronomy, 25MPI for Extraterrestrial Physics Garching, 26Durham University, Centre for Extragalactic Astronomy, Department of Physics, 27Jet Propulsion Laboratory, 28North Carolina State University, Department of Physics, 29Jet Propulsion Laboratory, 30Cambridge, Institute of Astronomy, UK, 31Penn State University, Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics, 32Jet Propulsion Laboratory, 33University of California, Berkeley, Department of Physics, 34ASI Science Data Center, Italy, 35California Institute of Technology, Cahill Center for Astronomy and Astrophysics, 36Cambridge, Institute of Astronomy, UK, 37Jet Propulsion Laboratory, 38Purdue University, Department of Physics and Astronomy, 39Texas Tech University, Physics Department, 40Nagoya University, Center for Experimental Studies, Kobayashi-Maskawa Institute for the Origin of Particles and the Universe, 41University of Maryland, Physics Department, 42RIKEN, 43Univ. of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Astronomy Dept, 44Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, 45Istituto di Astrofisica e Planetologia Spaziali, INAF, 46Department of Astronomy/Steward Observatory, 47Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, 48Jet Propulsion Laboratory, 49Department of Astronomy/Steward Observatory, 50NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, 51Tohoku University, Astronomical Institute, 52NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

This paper describes the Polarization Spectroscopic Telescope Array (PolSTAR), a mission proposed to NASA's 2014 Small Explorer (SMEX) announcement of opportunity. PolSTAR measures the linear polarization of 3-50 keV (requirement; goal: 2.5-70 keV) X-rays probing the behavior of matter, radiation and the very fabric of spacetime under the extreme conditions close to the event horizons of black holes, as well as in and around magnetars and neutron stars. Read More

It has long been recognised that quasi-periodic oscillations (QPOs) in the X-ray light curves of accreting black hole and neutron star binaries have the potential to be powerful diagnostics of strong field gravity. However, this potential cannot be fulfilled without a working theoretical model, which has remained elusive. Perhaps the most promising model associates the QPO with Lense-Thirring precession of the inner accretion flow, with the changes in viewing angle and Doppler boosting modulating the flux over the course of a precession cycle. Read More

X-ray radiation from black hole binary (BHB) systems regularly displays quasi-periodic oscillations (QPOs). In principle, a number of suggested physical mechanisms can reproduce their power spectral properties, thus more powerful diagnostics which preserve phase are required to discern between different models. In this paper, we first find for two Rossi X-ray Timing Explorer (RXTE) observations of the BHB GRS 1915+105 that the QPO has a well defined average waveform. Read More

Doppler tomography can provide a powerful means of determining black hole spin when our view to the central regions are revealed and obscured by optically thick orbiting material, and can provide an independent estimate that does not suffer as many degeneracies as traditional methods. For low mass AGN, time-dependent obscuration is expected to leave a signature in the changing spectrum of the disc emission which extends into the soft X-ray bandpass. We create a spectral model incorporating Doppler tomography and apply it to the case of the low mass (8 $\times$ 10$^{5}$ M$_{\odot}$) AGN, RX J1301. Read More

The relativistic precession model (RPM) can be used to obtain a precise measurement of the mass and spin of a black hole when the appropriate set of quasi periodic oscillations is detected in the power-density spectrum of an accreting black hole. However, in previous studies the solution of the RPM equations could be obtained only through numerical methods at a price of an intensive computational effort. Here we demonstrate that the RPM system of equations can be solved analytically, drastically reducing the computational load, now limited to the Monte-Carlo simulation necessary to estimate the uncertainties. Read More

Recent observations of accreting black holes reveal the presence of quasi-periodic oscillations (QPO) in the optical power density spectra. The corresponding oscillation periods match those found in the X-rays, implying a common origin. Among the numerous suggested X-ray QPO mechanisms, some may also work in the optical. Read More

Many statistical properties of the aperiodic variability observed in X-ray radiation from accreting compact objects can be naturally explained by the propagating fluctuations model. This considers variations in mass accretion rate to be stirred up throughout the accretion flow. Variations from the outer regions of the accretion flow will propagate towards the central object, modulating the variations from the inner regions and eventually modulating the radiation, giving rise to the observed linear RMS-flux relation and also Fourier frequency dependent time lags. Read More

The clear characteristic timescale picked out by the low frequency quasi-periodic oscillations (QPOs) seen in many black hole and neutron star binaries has the potential to provide a very powerful diagnostic of the inner regions of the accretion flow. However, this potential cannot be realised without a quantitative model for the QPO. We have recently shown that the same truncated disc/hot inner flow geometry which is used to interpret the spectral transitions can also directly produce the QPO from Lense-Thirring (vertical) precession of the hot inner flow. Read More

Black hole accretion flows show rapid X-ray variability. The Power Spectral Density (PSD) of this is typically fit by a phenomenological model of multiple Lorentzians for both the broad band noise and Quasi-Periodic Oscillations (QPOs). Our previous paper (Ingram & Done 2011) developed the first physical model for the PSD and fit this to observational data. Read More

The power spectra of black hole binaries have been well studied for decades, giving a detailed phenomenological picture of the variability properties and their correlation with the energy spectrum (spectral state) of the source. Here we take the truncated disc/hot inner flow picture which can describe the spectral changes, and show that propagating mass accretion rate fluctuations in the hot flow can match the broad band power spectral properties seen in black hole binaries, i.e. Read More

We propose a physical framework for interpreting the characteristic frequencies seen in the broad band power spectra from black hole and neutron star binaries. We use the truncated disc/hot inner flow geometry, and assume that the hot flow is generically turbulent. Each radius in the hot flow produces fluctuations, and we further assume that these are damped on the viscous frequency. Read More

We show that the low frequency QPO seen in the power density spectra of black hole binaries (and neutron stars) can be explained by Lense-Thirring precession. This has been proposed many times in the past, and simple, single radius models can qualitatively match the observed increase in QPO frequency by decreasing a characteristic radius, as predicted by the truncated disc models. However, this also predicts that the frequency is strongly dependent on spin, and gives a maximum frequency at the last stable orbit which is generally much higher than the remarkably constant maximum frequency at ~10Hz observed in all black hole binaries. Read More