Vol 6, No 2

Comptonization and Reprocessing Processes in Accretion Disks: Applications to the Seyfert 1 Galaxies NGC 5548 and NGC 4051

Fan Zhang, Xue-Bing Wu


Abstract Simultaneous multi-wavelength observations have revealed complex variability in AGNs. To explain the variability we considered a theoretical model consisting of an inner hot comptonizing corona and an outer thin accretion disk, with interactions between the two components in the form of comptonization and reprocessing. We found that the variability of AGNs is strongly affected by the parameters of the model, namely, the truncated disk radius rmin, the corona radius rs, the temperature KTe and the optical depth τ0 of the corona. We applied this model to the two best observed Seyfert 1 galaxies, NGC 5548 and NGC 4051. Our model can reproduce satisfactory the observed SEDs. Our fits indicate that NGC 5548 may have experienced dramatic changes in physical parameters between 1989–1990 and 1998, and that NGC 4051 has a much larger truncated disk radius (700 Schwarzschild radii) than NGC 5548 (several tens of Schwarzschild radii). Since we adopted a more refined treatment of the comptonization process rather than simply assuming a cut-off power law, our results should be more reasonable than the previous ones.



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