Class Transitions in Black Holes


A black hole spectrum is known to change from the hard state to the soft state when the energy spectral index α (FE ∝ E ) in, say, 2− 20 keV range changes from α ∼ 0.5 to ∼ 1.5. However, this ‘classical’ definition which characterizes black holes like Cyg X-1, becomes less useful for many objects such as GRS 1915+105 in which the spectral slope is seen to vary from one to the other in a matter of seconds and depending on whether or not winds form, the spectral slope also changes. The light curves and the colour-colour diagrams may look completely different on different days depending on the frequency and mode of switching from one spectral state to the other. Though RXTE observations have yielded wealth of information on such ‘variability classes’ in GRS 1915+105, very rarely one has been able to observe how the object goes from one class to the other. In the present review, we discuss possible origins of the class transition and present several examples of such transitions. In this context, we use mostly the results of the Indian X-ray Astronomy Experiment (IXAE) which observed GRS 1915+105 more regularly.

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@inproceedings{Chakrabarti2004ClassTI, title={Class Transitions in Black Holes}, author={Sandip Kumar Chakrabarti and Sonali Chakrabarti}, year={2004} }