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Title: Fast spectral variability in the X-ray emission of accreting black holes
Author: Skipper, Chris
Awarding Body: University of Southampton
Current Institution: University of Southampton
Date of Award: 2013
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The X-ray emission from accreting black holes provides the perfect probe for testing the geometry, behaviour and conditions present in the innermost regions of the accretion flow. In this thesis I use X-ray spectral analysis to investigate the properties of accreting black holes that extend over several orders of magnitude in accretion rate (m˙ E) and black hole mass (MBH), from the stellar mass black holes in X-ray binary systems (XRBs)to the supermassive black holes in active galactic nuclei(AGN). Firstly, through a survey of X-ray emission in the nuclei of nearby galaxies I show that the usefulness of the X-ray to optical line ratios as a Compton-thick diagnostic does not extend to low luminosity AGN, and instead these ratios may have more practical use in distinguishing between AGN and non-AGN emission processes. Secondly, and more importantly, the main focus of this thesis is upon the variability of the Comptonised power-law X-ray spectral component, and more specifically an examination of how the photon index
Supervisor: Mchardy, Ian Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: QB Astronomy ; QC Physics