# Cyclotron resonant scattering feature simulations: I. Thermally averaged cyclotron scattering cross sections, mean free photon-path tables, and electron momentum sampling

## Publication Details

Abstract

Context. Electron cyclotron resonant scattering features (CRSFs) are observed as absorption-like lines in the spectra of X-ray pulsars. A significant fraction of the computing time for Monte Carlo simulations of these quantum mechanical features is spent on the calculation of the mean free path for each individual photon before scattering, since it involves a complex numerical integration over the scattering cross section and the (thermal) velocity distribution of the scattering electrons. Aims. We aim to numerically calculate interpolation tables which can be used in CRSF simulations to sample the mean free path of the scattering photon and the momentum of the scattering electron. The tables also contain all the information required for sampling the scattering electron's final spin. Methods. The tables were calculated using an adaptive Simpson integration scheme. The energy and angle grids were refined until a prescribed accuracy is reached. The tables are used by our simulation code to produce artificial CRSF spectra. The electron momenta sampled during these simulations were analyzed and justified using theoretically determined boundaries. Results. We present a complete set of tables suited for mean free path calculations of Monte Carlo simulations of the cyclotron scattering process for conditions expected in typical X-ray pulsar accretion columns (0:01 ≤ B/B ≤ 0.12, where B = 4.413 × 10 G, and 3 keV ≤ kT ≤ 15 keV). The sampling of the tables is chosen such that the results have an estimated relative error of at most 1=15 for all points in the grid. The tables are available online (see link in footnote, page 1).

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How to cite

APA: | Schwarm, F.-W., Schönherr, G., Falkner, S., Pottschmidt, K., Wolff, M., Becker, P.A.,... Wilms, J. (2017). Cyclotron resonant scattering feature simulations: I. Thermally averaged cyclotron scattering cross sections, mean free photon-path tables, and electron momentum sampling. Astronomy & Astrophysics, 597. https://dx.doi.org/10.1051/0004-6361/201629352 |

MLA: | Schwarm, Fritz-Walter, et al. "Cyclotron resonant scattering feature simulations: I. Thermally averaged cyclotron scattering cross sections, mean free photon-path tables, and electron momentum sampling." Astronomy & Astrophysics 597 (2017). |

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