Going with the Flow: Can the Base of Jets Subsume the Role of Compact Accretion Disk Coronae?
The hard state of X-ray binaries (XRBs) is characterized by a power law spectrum in the X-ray band, and a flat/inverted radio/IR spectrum associated with occasionally imaged compact jets. It has generally been thought that the hard X-rays result from Compton upscattering of thermal accretion disk photons by a hot, coronal plasma whose properties are inferred via spectral fitting. Interestingly, these properties-especially those from certain magnetized corona models-are very similar to the
... imilar to the derived plasma conditions at the jet footpoints. Here we explore the question of whether the 'corona' and 'jet base' are in fact related, starting by testing the strongest premise that they are synonymous. In such models, the radio through the soft X-rays are dominated by synchrotron emission, while the hard X-rays are dominated by inverse Compton at the jet base - with both disk and synchrotron photons acting as seed photons. The conditions at the jet base fix the conditions along the rest of the jet, thus creating a direct link between the X-ray and radio emission. We also add to this model a simple iron line and convolve the spectrum with neutral reflection. After forward-folding the predicted spectra through the detector response functions, we compare the results to simultaneous radio/X-ray data obtained from the hard states of the Galactic XRBs GX339-4 and Cygnus X-1. Results from simple Compton corona model fits are also presented for comparison. We demonstrate that the jet model fits are statistically as good as the single-component corona model X-ray fits, yet are also able to address the simultaneous radio data.