Comparison of time/phase lags in the hard state and plateau state of GRS 1915+105

We investigate the complex behavior of energy- and frequency-dependent time/phase lags in the plateau state and the radio-quiet hard state of GRS 1915+105. In our timing analysis, we find that when the source is faint in the radio, QPOs are observed above 2 Hz and typically exhibit soft lags (soft photons lag hard photons), whereas QPOs in the radio-bright plateau state are found below 2.2 Hz and consistently show hard lags. The phase lag at the QPO frequency is strongly anti-correlated with the QPO frequency, changing sign at 2.2 Hz. However, the phase lag at the frequency of the first harmonic is positive and nearly independent of frequency at at ~0.172 rad, regardless of the radio emission. The lag-energy dependence at the first harmonic is also independent of radio flux. However, the lags at the QPO frequency are negative at all energies during the radio-quiet state, but lags at the QPO frequency during the plateau state are positive at all energies and show a ‘reflection-type’ evolution of the lag-energy spectra with respect to the radio-quiet state. The lag-energy dependence is roughly logarithmic, but there is some evidence for a break around 4-6 keV. Finally, the Fourier frequency-dependent phase lag spectra are fairly flat during the plateau state, but increase from negative to positive during the radio-quiet state. We discuss the implications of our results in the light of some generic models.

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Date added: Mon, 14 Oct 13