A scheme to unify low-power accreting black holes - Jet-dominated accretion flows and the radio/X-ray correlation
SourceAstronomy and Astrophysics, 414, 3, (2004), pp. 895-903
Article / Letter to editor
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Astronomy and Astrophysics
We explore the evolution in power of black holes of all masses, and their associated jets, within the scheme of an accretion rate-dependent state transition. Below a critical value of the accretion rate all systems are assumed to undergo a transition to a state where the dominant accretion mode is optically thin and radiatively inefficient. In these significantly sub-Eddington systems, the spectral energy distribution is predicted to be dominated by non-thermal emission from a relativistic jet whereas near-Eddington black holes will be dominated instead by emission from the accretion disk. Reasonable candidates for such a sub-Eddington state include X-ray binaries in the hard and quiescent states, the Galactic Center (Sgr A*), LINERS, FR I radio galaxies, and a large fraction of BL Lac objects. Standard jet physics predicts non-linear scaling between the optically thick (radio) and optically thin (optical or X-ray) emission of these systems, which has been confirmed recently in X-ray binaries. We show that this scaling relation is also a function of black hole mass and only slightly of the relativistic Doppler factor. Taking the scaling into account we show that indeed hard and quiescent state X-ray binaries, LINERS, FR I radio galaxies. and BL Lacs can be unified and fall on a common radio/X-ray correlation. This suggests that jet domination is an important stage in the luminosity evolution of accreting black hole systems.
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