Accretion flows govern black hole jet properties

K. Koljonen, D. Russell, J. Fernández Ontiveros, J. Miller-Jones, T. Russell, P. Curran, R. Soria, S. Markoff, A. van der Horst, P. Casella

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The process of jet formation in accreting black holes, and the conditions under which it occurs is currently hotly debated, with competing models predicting the jet power to be governed by black hole spin, the magnetic field strength, the location of the jet base, the mass accretion rate and/or the properties of the inner accretion flow. We present new results that show empirical correlations between the accretion flow properties and the spectral energy distribution of the jets launched from accreting black holes. The X-ray power law is directly related to the particle energy distribution in the hot accretion flow. We find that the photon index of this power law correlates with the characteristic break frequency in the jet spectrum emitted near the jet base, and the jet luminosity up to the break frequency. The observed correlations can be explained by the energy distribution of electrons in the hot accretion flow being subsequently channeled into the jet. These correlations represent a new inflow--outflow connection in accreting black holes, and demonstrate that the spectral properties of the jet rely most critically on the conditions in the inner accretion flow, rather than other parameters such as the black hole mass or spin.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)43
JournalThe Extremes of Black Hole Accretion, Proceedings of the conference held 8-10 June, 2015 in Madrid, Spain
StatePublished - Jul 1 2015


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