Phase lag variability associated with the 0.5-10 Hz QPO in GRS 1915+105


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We have used Rossi X-ray Timing Explorer data to measure the lags between soft (2-5 keV) and hard (5-13 keV) photons and to study the aperiodic variability of the superluminal black hole candidate GRS 1915+105 during low-flux states. The power density spectra exhibit quasi-periodic oscillations (QPO) whose frequency increases with increasing count rate and varies in the frequency range 0.6-8 Hz. A correlation between the QPO frequency and the phase lag spectra is reported for the first time. This correlation is found for both the phase lag continuum and the phase lag at the QPO frequency. We find that as the QPO frequency moves to higher values the phase lags reverse sign from positive to negative. The absolute value of the lag always increases with photon energy. The negative (soft) lags are associated with a softer energy spectrum, whereas the positive (hard) lags are seen when the source is harder. We describe a possible scenario that may account for the change in the sign of the lags.
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