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Investigating accretion disk – radio jet coupling across the stellar mass scale

Abstract

Relationships between the X-ray and radio behavior of black hole X-ray binaries during outbursts have established a fundamental coupling between the accretion disks and radio jets in these systems. I begin by reviewing the prevailing paradigm for this disk-jet coupling, also highlighting what we know about similarities and differences with neutron star and white dwarf binaries. Until recently, this paradigm had not been directly tested with dedicated high-angular resolution radio imaging over entire outbursts. Moreover, such high-resolution monitoring campaigns had not previously targetted outbursts in which the compact object was either a neutron star or a white dwarf. To address this issue, we have embarked on the Jet Acceleration and Collimation Probe Of Transient X-Ray Binaries (JACPOT XRB) project, which aims to use high angular resolution observations to compare disk-jet coupling across the stellar mass scale, with the goal of probing the importance of the depth of the gravitational potential well, the stellar surface and the stellar magnetic field, on jet formation. Our team has recently concluded its first monitoring series, including (E)VLA, VLBA, X-ray, optical, and near-infrared observations of entire outbursts of the black hole candidate H 1743-322, the neutron star system Aquila X-1, and the white dwarf system SS Cyg. Here I present preliminary results from this work, largely confirming the current paradigm, but highlighting some intriguing new behavior, and suggesting a possible difference in the jet formation process between neutron star and black hole systems.

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References

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