Volume 522, November 2010
|Number of page(s)||7|
|Published online||04 November 2010|
Disc-oscillation resonance and neutron star QPOs: 3:2 epicyclic orbital model
Institute of Physics,
Faculty of Philosophy and Science, Silesian University in Opava,
Bezručovo nám. 13,
Received: 3 April 2010
Accepted: 23 June 2010
The high-frequency quasi-periodic oscillations (HF QPOs) that appear in the X-ray fluxes of low-mass X-ray binaries remain an unexplained phenomenon. Among other ideas, it has been suggested that a non-linear resonance between two oscillation modes in an accretion disc orbiting either a black hole or a neutron star plays a role in exciting the observed modulation. Several possible resonances have been discussed. A particular model assumes resonances in which the disc-oscillation modes have the eigenfrequencies equal to the radial and vertical epicyclic frequencies of geodesic orbital motion. This model has been discussed for black hole microquasar sources as well as for a group of neutron star sources. Assuming several neutron (strange) star equations of state and Hartle-Thorne geometry of rotating stars, we briefly compare the frequencies expected from the model to those observed. Our comparison implies that the inferred neutron star radius RNS is larger than the related radius of the marginally stable circular orbit rms for nuclear matter equations of state and spin frequencies up to 800 Hz. For the same range of spin and a strange star (MIT) equation of state, the inferrred radius is RNS ~ rms. The “Paczyński modulation” mechanism considered within the model requires that RNS < rms. However, we find this condition to be fulfilled only for the strange matter equation of state, masses below 1 M⊙, and spin frequencies above 800 Hz. This result most likely falsifies the postulation of the neutron star 3:2 resonant eigenfrequencies being equal to the frequencies of geodesic radial and vertical epicyclic modes. We suggest that the 3:2 epicyclic modes could stay among the possible choices only if a fairly non-geodesic accretion flow is assumed, or if a different modulation mechanism operates.
Key words: X-rays: binaries / stars: neutron
© ESO, 2010
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