The Innermost Regions of Relativistic Jets and Their Magnetic Fields. Granada (Spain). June 10th-14th, 2013.

Malzac, Julien

Spectra and fast multi-wavelength variability of compact jets powered by internal shocks.


Author list: Julien Malzac


The emission of steady compact jets observed in the hard spectral state of X-ray binaries is likely to be powered by internal shocks caused by fluctuations of the outflow velocity. The dynamics of the  internal shocks and the resulting spectral energy distribution (SED) of the jet is very sensitive to the shape of the Power Spectral Density (PSD) of the fluctuations of the jet Lorentz factor. I used both Monte-Carlo simulations and semi-analytical methods to investigate this dependence. It turns out that Lorentz factor fluctuations injected at the base of the jet with a flicker noise power spectrum (i.e.  P(f) ~1/f) naturally produce the canonical flat SED observed from radio to IR band in X-ray binary systems in the hard state. This model also predicts a strong, wavelength dependent, variability that resembles the observed one. In particular, strong sub-second variability is predicted in the infrared and optical bands. The complex timing correlations observed between the IR/optical light curves and the X-rays can then be used to probe the accretion/ejection connection on short time-scales.