Previous and Current Work
From Theory to Reality
My primary project was an analysis of the proportionality between the peak optical luminosity and orbital period of a sample of 21 stellar mass black hole x-ray binary candidates. Using data for these specific candidates via BlackCAT, we compared absolute magnitude and orbital period to fit the common relationship to our data– the longer the orbital period, the brighter the x-ray outburst. We then compared our linear relationship to a proportionality model drawn from Kepler’s 3rd Law taking into account, both, the proportionality between the outer radius of the black hole accretion disk & the semi-major axis of orbit and the proportionality that exists between x-ray and optical luminosities. Ultimately, we were able to reduce the model down to an index that was extremely close to that predicted by our magnitude-period fit. We chose to pursue a project such as this one as the construction of the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope will be completed in 2020 with plans for operation shortly thereafter. In hopes of using the LSST to acquire data for extragalactic black hole x-ray binaries that may lie in nearby galaxies like M31, for example, we used the BlackCAT data to draw a correlation that we may be able to return to years down the line as more precise data recorded by the LSST becomes publicly available. We believe that this data will assist us in determining interesting black hole behavior and expose any outliers that may be intriguing enough to take a closer look at. I am currently finalizing an analysis of these results with plans for publication upon completion and I was fortunate enough to present a poster over this research at the Texas Section of the American Physical Society Conference hosted by Texas Tech University in 2019.
The poster above displays a graph and values produced in the early stages of data analysis. The final paper (to be linked upon publication) will contain updated information.
A New Look
4 Years of Research
RELATING PEAK OPTICAL LUMINOSITY AND ORBITAL PERIOD OF STELLAR MASS BLACK HOLES IN X-RAY BINARIES
Blackmon, V.A., & Maccarone, T.J., 2020, MNRAS, pending