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Durham University

Department of Physics

Staff profile

Publication details for Prof Chris Done

Shidatsu, Megumi & Done, Chris (2019). Application of the Thermal Wind Model to Absorption Features in the Black Hole X-ray Binary H 1743$-$322. The Astrophysical Journal 885(2): 112.

Author(s) from Durham


High inclination black hole X-ray binaries exhibit blueshifted ionized absorption lines from disk winds, whose launching mechanism is still in debate. The lines are predominantly observed in the high/soft state and disappear in the low/hard state, anticorrelated with the jet. We have tested if the thermal winds, which are driven by the irradiation of the outer disk by the X-rays from the inner disk, can explain these observed properties or whether we need a magnetic switch between jet and wind. We use analytic thermal-radiative wind models to predict the column density, ionization parameter, and velocity of the wind given the broadband continuum shape and luminosity determined from the Rossi X-ray Timing Explorer (RXTE) monitoring. We use these to simulate the detailed photoionized absorption features predicted at epochs where there are Chandra high-resolution spectra. These include low/hard, high/soft, and very high states. The model was found to well reproduce the observed lines in the high/soft state, and it also successfully predicts their disappearance in the low/hard state. However, the simplest version of the thermal wind model also predicts that there should be strong features observed in the very high state, which are not seen in the data. Nonetheless, we show this is consistent with thermal winds when we include self-shielding by the irradiated inner disk atmosphere. These results indicate that the evolution of observed wind properties in different states during outbursts in H1743−322 can be explained by the thermal wind model and does not require magnetic driving.