X-ray Binaries and Magnetars

X-ray Binaries and Magnetars

X-ray Binaries and Magnetars
PI: Manoneeta Chakraborty

The research in this group encompasses a variety of high energy astrophysics topics with particular emphasis on compact object physics. Neutron stars and black holes exhibit the most extreme physical conditions in the universe. They offer the ideal laboratories to probe strong gravity, the properties of supranuclear matter and the most intense magnetic field conditions. The group is actively involved in the timing and spectroscopic studies of stellar and super-massive black holes, neutron star, pulsars and magnetars. The research here focuses deeply on the study of accretion in X-ray binary systems and its radiative properties and variabilities. The spectral evolution of such compact objects in both isolated and binary systems is studied to understand the behaviour of the accretion disk and the corona during the outburst state of the X-ray binary. A multi-wavelength monitoring of these objects can reveal intricacies of the disk-jet connection and the hard X-ray component. Thermonuclear bursts and burst oscillations can be used to probe the surface properties of a neutron star and thus are the most promising candidates to constrain the equation of state of ultra-degenerate supra-nuclear neutron star matter. Research is also carried out on pulsars – rotation powered, accretion powered and magnetically powered – and how blurring of classes among the different categories of pulsars can lead to understanding about the evolution and lifecycle of pulsars. The timing and spectral variability are also studied across different scales – from stellar mass black holes in X-ray binaries to supermassive black holes in active galactic nuclei. The group is also interested in investigating the connection of more recently discovered class of objects like Ultra-luminous X-ray sources (ULXs) and fast radio bursts (FRBs) with current understanding of the compact objects.

For pursuing the above science problems data from multiple instruments across multiple wavelengths are analyzed. The research involves extensive analysis of data from missions like RXTE, Chandra, Swift, XMM-Newton, NuStar, Astrosat, GMRT, VLA, SALT and many others. Apart from the electromagnetic window, the group is also interested in the observation of these objects in the gravitational wave window as these compact objects are the primary origins of gravitational waves either through mergers or through steady spin-down decay of pulsars.

Respearch Areas Home