High Energy Observations of X-Ray Binaries and Gamma-Ray Blazars
- Vestrand, W. Thomas
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- The report discusses the CGRO observation of X-ray binary systems and studies of gamma-ray blasars. Numerous authors have suggested mechanisms for particle acceleration within X-Ray Binary (XRB) systems. Among the acceleration mechanisms that have been applied are pulsar acceleration, shock acceleration at an accretion shock front, shock acceleration at a pulsar wind termination shock, plasma turbulence excited by the accretion flow, and a number of electrodynamic mechanisms. There are therefore many mechanisms which are capable of generating very energetic particles in the XRB environment. If the reports of TeV/PeV gamma-ray generation in XRBs are correct, then one can show that the accelerated particles must be hadrons and that the most likely gamma-ray production mechanism is the decay of collisionally-produced (or photoproduced) neutral pions. At these ultra-high energies, the emission is so strongly beamed that the target conditions are constrained by the requirement that the column depth be large enough to efficiently generate gamma-rays, but not so large that the gamma-rays are absorbed. These constraints naturally lead to models that explain the periodic, narrow duty-cycle pulses observed at TeV/PeV energies as arising from interactions with, either, the atmosphere of the binary companion, an accretion column, or an accretion disk. The production of these TeV/PeV gamma-rays by the decay of pions from "leading isobars" must also be accompanied by a more isotropic emission component in the EGRET energy band from the decay of slower pions (i.e. the "pionization" component). Since the attenuation of 35 MeV-1 GeV photons by photon-photon pair production is not likely to be significant in most XRBs, the TeV/PeV reports therefore strongly suggest sporadic emission in the EGRET energy band. One of the key unresolved issues for understanding AGN is the relationship between XBLs and RBLs.To test the "reunification" hypothesis, authors conducted a multiwavelength campaign during Cycle 7 of the CGRO observing program. The analysis of the cycle 4 through cycle 6 CGRO measurements was completed. Two previously unknown EGRET sources was discovered.
- Other Subject(s):
- NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS) Collection.
- Document ID: 19990109100.
- No Copyright.
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