Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/2381/38041
Title: Black holes in stellar-mass binary systems: expiating original spin?
Authors: King, Andrew
Nixon, Chris J.
First Published: 6-Jul-2016
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Citation: Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 2016, 462 (1), pp. 464-467
Abstract: We investigate systematically whether accreting black hole systems are likely to reach global alignment of the black hole spin and its accretion disc with the binary plane. In low-mass X-ray binaries (LMXBs), there is only a modest tendency to reach such global alignment, and it is difficult to achieve fully: except for special initial conditions, we expect misalignment of the spin and orbital planes by ∼1 rad for most of the LMXB lifetime. The same is expected in high-mass X-ray binaries. A fairly close approach to global alignment is likely in most stellar-mass ultraluminous X-ray binary systems (ULXs) where the companion star fills its Roche lobe and transfers mass on a thermal or nuclear time-scale to a black hole of lower mass. These systems are unlikely to show orbital eclipses, as their emission cones are close to the hole's spin axis. This offers a potential observational test, as models for ULXs invoking intermediate-mass black holes do predict eclipses for ensembles of ≳ 10 systems. Recent observational work shows that eclipses are either absent or extremely rare in ULXs, supporting the picture that most ULXs are stellar-mass binaries with companion stars more massive than the accretor.
DOI Link: 10.1093/mnras/stw1598
ISSN: 0035-8711
eISSN: 1365-2966
Links: http://mnras.oxfordjournals.org/content/462/1/464
http://hdl.handle.net/2381/38041
Version: Publisher Version
Status: Peer-reviewed
Type: Journal Article
Rights: Copyright © 2016 The Authors. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Royal Astronomical Society. Deposited with reference to the publisher’s archiving policy available on the SHERPA/RoMEO website.
Appears in Collections:Published Articles, Dept. of Physics and Astronomy

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