HEAD Division Meeting 1999, April 1999
Session 11. Black Holes
Oral, Monday, April 12, 1999, 2:00pm-3:31pm, Colonial Room

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[11.03] Modeling the Light Curves of Accreting Black Holes

D. Kazanas (NASA/GSFC), X. M. Hua (Raytheon Systems)

We present model light curves for accreting Black Hole Candidates (BHC) based on a recently developed model of their spectro-temporal properties. According to this model, the observed light curves and aperiodic variability of BHC are due to a series of soft photon injections at random (Poisson) intervals near the compact object and their reprocessing into hard radiation in an extended but non-uniform hot plasma corona surrounding the compact object. We argue that the majority of the timing characteristics of these light curves are due to the stochastic nature of the Comptonization process in the extended corona, whose properties, most notably its radial density dependence, are imprinted in them. We compute the corresponding Power Spectral Densities (PSD), autocorrelation functions, time skewness of the light curves and time lags between the light curves of the sources at different photon energies and compare our results to observation. Our model light curves compare well with observations, providing good fits to their overall morphology, as manifest by the autocorrelation and skewness functions. The lags and PSDs of the model light curves are also in good agreement with those observed (the model can even accommodate the presence of QPOs). Finally, while most of the variability power resides at time scales \gtrsim a few seconds, at the same time, the model allows also for shots of a few msec in duration, in accordance with observation.

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