Journal Article

On the origin of black hole spin in high-mass black hole binaries: Cygnus X-1

Magnus Axelsson, Ross P. Church, Melvyn B. Davies, Andrew J. Levan and Felix Ryde

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

Published on behalf of The Royal Astronomical Society

Volume 412, issue 4, pages 2260-2264
Published in print April 2011 | ISSN: 0035-8711
Published online April 2011 | e-ISSN: 1365-2966 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2966.2010.18050.x
On the origin of black hole spin in high-mass black hole binaries: Cygnus X-1

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To date, there have been several detections of high-mass black hole binaries in both the Milky Way and other galaxies. For some of these, the spin parameter of the black hole has been estimated. As many of these systems are quite tight, a suggested origin of the spin is angular momentum imparted by the synchronous rotation of the black hole progenitor with its binary companion. Using Cygnus X-1, the best studied high-mass black hole binary, we investigate this possibility. We find that such an origin of the spin is not likely, and our results point rather to the spin being the result of processes during the collapse.

Keywords: black hole physics; binaries: close; X-rays: binaries; X-rays: individual: Cygnus X-1

Journal Article.  3942 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics

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