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The NICER breakthrough in X-ray reverberation studies of BH X-ray binaries

Presentation #403.02 in the session Advances in Black Hole Spectral Timing On All Scales with NICER.

Published onJul 01, 2023
The NICER breakthrough in X-ray reverberation studies of BH X-ray binaries

The study of the accreting gas in the vicinity of black holes (BH) is key to probe how these powerful engines work. BH X-ray binary systems (BH XRB) show complex and quick spectral and timing evolution during an outburst, hinting at drastic changes in the physical properties of the innermost accretion flow. X-ray reverberation allows the geometry of the accreting gas to be constrained, by studying the time-delayed response of the irradiated disc to the rapidly varying hard X-ray flux. I will report on a decade of X-ray reverberation studies in BH XRBs and the recent breakthroughs achieved with the advent of NICER. These studies have been revealing complex morphological changes of the inner accretion disc and the hard X-ray source during the outburst, as well as shedding new light on the connection between the hard X-ray source and the jet.

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