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Disk-Corona Models and X-Ray Emission from Seyfert Galaxies

  • Laura Maraschi (a1) and Francesco Haardt (a2)

Abstract

The current status of understanding of the X-ray emission from Seyfert galaxies involves Comptonization of soft photons by hot subrelativistic electrons. After briefly reviewing the early theoretical basis for the presence of hot optically thin plasma in or around accretion disks and the key observations that led to develop the presently popular model of an accretion disk with a hot corona, we summarize recent progress in accretion models that take into account energy dissipation and/or angular momentum transport in the corona. Finally, adopting the simple scheme of a homogeneous plane parallel corona, we discuss in detail the dependence of the X-ray spectrum on the coronal parameters. Despite the strong coupling between optical depth and temperature which determines a spectral shape insensitive to their precise values, moderate spectral changes are possible. The spectral variability patterns can be used as diagnostics for coronal physics and should allow to determine whether the optical depth of the corona is dominated by e + e pairs.

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Disk-Corona Models and X-Ray Emission from Seyfert Galaxies

  • Laura Maraschi (a1) and Francesco Haardt (a2)

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