We have developed a new model for the X-ray spectral fitting package XSPEC that takes into account the effects of both thermal and dynamical (i.e., bulk) Comptonization. The model consists of two components: one is the direct blackbody-like emission due to seed photons that are not subjected to effective Compton scattering, while the other is a convolution of the Green's function of the energy operator with a blackbody-like seed photon spectrum. When combined thermal and bulk effects are considered, the analytical form of the Green's function may be obtained as a solution of the diffusion equation describing Comptonization. Using data from the BeppoSAX, INTEGRAL, and RXTE satellites, we test our model on the spectra of a sample of six bright neutron star low-mass X-ray binaries with low magnetic fields, covering three different spectral states. Particular attention is given to the transient power-law-like hard X-ray (>~30 keV) tails, which we interpret in the framework of the bulk motion Comptonization process. We show that the values of the best-fit δ-parameter, which represents the importance of bulk with respect to thermal Comptonization, can be physically meaningful and can at least qualitatively describe the physical conditions of the environment in the innermost part of the system. Moreover, we show that in fitting the thermal Comptonization spectra to the X-ray spectra of these systems, the best-fit parameters of our model are in excellent agreement with those from compTT, a broadly used and well-established XSPEC model.

A New Comptonization Model for Weakly Magnetized, Accreting Neutron Stars in Low-Mass X-Ray Binaries

FARINELLI, Ruben;TITARCHUK, Lev;FRONTERA, Filippo
2008

Abstract

We have developed a new model for the X-ray spectral fitting package XSPEC that takes into account the effects of both thermal and dynamical (i.e., bulk) Comptonization. The model consists of two components: one is the direct blackbody-like emission due to seed photons that are not subjected to effective Compton scattering, while the other is a convolution of the Green's function of the energy operator with a blackbody-like seed photon spectrum. When combined thermal and bulk effects are considered, the analytical form of the Green's function may be obtained as a solution of the diffusion equation describing Comptonization. Using data from the BeppoSAX, INTEGRAL, and RXTE satellites, we test our model on the spectra of a sample of six bright neutron star low-mass X-ray binaries with low magnetic fields, covering three different spectral states. Particular attention is given to the transient power-law-like hard X-ray (>~30 keV) tails, which we interpret in the framework of the bulk motion Comptonization process. We show that the values of the best-fit δ-parameter, which represents the importance of bulk with respect to thermal Comptonization, can be physically meaningful and can at least qualitatively describe the physical conditions of the environment in the innermost part of the system. Moreover, we show that in fitting the thermal Comptonization spectra to the X-ray spectra of these systems, the best-fit parameters of our model are in excellent agreement with those from compTT, a broadly used and well-established XSPEC model.
Farinelli, Ruben; Titarchuk, Lev; Paizis, Ada; Frontera, Filippo
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11392/532966
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