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Title: Temporal fluctuations in accretion around x-ray binaries
Author: Lewis, Fraser William
ISNI:       0000 0004 2740 6027
Awarding Body: Open University
Current Institution: Open University
Date of Award: 2012
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This thesis presents data from multi-wavelength observations of four Low-Mass X-ray Binaries (LMXBs), particularly during their non-cataclysmic outbursts. LMXBs are binary systems which contain either a neutron star or black hole secreting from a low mass (K/M type) companion. These four objects form part of a larger set of 3S LMXBs imaged by the Faulkes Telescopes (FTs) at optical wavelengths since early 2005. They represent the majority of transient X-Ray Binaries (XRBs) where the optical counterpart has previously been identified. The objective of the thesis is to use optical data of XRRs, which have often only been previously studied at X-ray and radio wavelengths, in order to understand more about their accretion duty cycles, their variability within both outburst and quiescence and to study how their optical emission correlates with emission at other wavelengths. To this end, photometry of these sources is presented and Spectral Energy Distributions (SEDs) are created which allow a better understanding of the range of wavelengths over which these objects emit. As well as the desire to understand more about accretion around XR.Bs, this monitoring campaign was also motivated in part by having extremely flexible access to two 2-metre research grade telescopes and . thus the opportunity to collect multi-filter data over several years on several XR.Bs. In the past, optical studies have been limited to a handful of objects, usually during outburst. Chapters 1 and 2 introduce XRRs and examine how broadband observations [particularly in the optical regime) can allow us to understand physical processes such as accretion and synchrotron emission (associated with those systems that have jets). In Chapter 3, I detail the Faulkes Telescope Project and explain the rationale behind the monitoring program. I also introduce the sources of data acquisition and methods of data analysis.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available