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Active Galactic Nuclei

ISBN: 978-3-527-41078-1
350 pages
September 2012
Active Galactic Nuclei (3527410783) cover image


This AGN textbook includes phenomena based on new results in the X-Ray domain from new telescopes such as Chandra and XMM Newton not mentioned in any other book. Furthermore, it considers also the Fermi Gamma Ray Space Telescope with its revolutionary advances of unprecedented sensitivity, field of view and all-sky monitoring. Those and other new developments as well as simulations of AGN merging events and formations, enabled through latest super-computing capabilities.

The book gives an overview on the current knowledge of the Active Galacitc Nuclei phenomenon. The spectral energy distribution will be discussed, pointing out what can be observed in different wavebands and with different physical models. Furthermore, the authors discuss the AGN with respect to its environment, host galaxy, feedback in galaxy clusters, etc. and finally the cosmological evolution of the AGN phenomenon.

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Table of Contents

1 Active Galactic Nuclei: A summary
2 The observational picture of AGN
2.1 From Welteninseln to AGN
2.2 Broad lines, narrow lines, and the big-blue bump
2.3 Jets and other outflows
2.4 X-Ray Observations: Probing the innermost regions
2.5 Up, up and away: from gamma-rays toward the TeV range
3 The Central Engine
3.1 The Black hole
3.1.1 Approaching a black hole
3.1.2 Evidence for black holes in AGN
3.1.3 Schwarzschild metric
3.1.4 Rotating black holes: the Kerr metric
3.2 Accretion
3.2.1 Accretion Basics: Bondi Accretion and the Eddington Limit
3.2.2 Accretion and viscous dissipaation in a Thin Disk
3.2.3 Accretion in Thick Disks
3.2.4 Advection dominated accretion flows
3.3 Absorption close to the black hole
3.3.1 The Torus model
3.3.2 Absorption in the disk
3.3.3 Disk winds
3.3.4 Alternative absorption models
3.4 Narrow and Broad line regions
3.5 Reverberation Mapping: Probing the Scale of the BLR
3.5.1 Photo-Ionization Modeling
3.6 AGN Jets: Emission, Dynamics and Morpologies
3.6.1 Raising the jet
3.6.2 Shocks and Knots
3.6.3 Superluminal Motion
4 AGN Types 9
4.1 Seyfert galaxies
4.1.1 Narrow Line Seyfert Galaxies
4.1.2 LINER
4.1.3 ULIGs
4.2 Radio Galaxies
4.3 Quasars
4.3.1 Radio Quiet Quasars
4.3.2 Radio Loud Quasars: FSRQs, BL LACs and Blazars
4.4 Unification of AGN
4.4.1 Radio loud versus radio quiet
4.4.2 Breaking the unification
5 AGN through the electromagnetic spectrum
5.1 Radio: resolving the central engine
5.2 Infrared: Dust Near And Far
5.3 Optical: where it all began
5.4 UV: The Obscured Inner Disk
5.5 X-rays: absorption, reflection, and Relativisticlly Alterd Line Progiles
5.6 Gamma-rays: The Blazar Dominatated Sky
5.7 VHE: the evolving domain
5.8 The whole picture: the spectral energy distribution
5.8.1 The synchrotron branch
5.8.2 The inverse Compton branch
5.8.3 Host galaxy contributions
5.8.4 The disk component
6 Environment
6.1 Host galaxies of AGN
6.2 The AGN starburst connection
6.3 AGNs in clusters of galaxies
7 Formation, evolution and the ultimate fate of AGN
7.1 The first AGN: How Did They Form?
7.2 AGN evolution
7.2.1 The Number-Flux Relation
7.2.2 The V/Vmax test
7.2.3 Luminosity Function
7.3 The late stages of an AGN?s life
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Author Information

Volker Beckmann received his Ph.D. from the University of Hamburg, Germany, for studies of different classes of Active Galactic Nuclei (AGN). He has been working in the field of hard X-ray astronomy in Italy, Switzerland,
and in the US at NASA and taught at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. As an expert on AGN, he has also worked on hard X-ray missions like INTEGRAL and Swift. Since 2009 he has been responsible scientist for a new data and computing centre for astrophysics in Paris.

Chris R. Shrader is an astrophysicist at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt Maryland and is also affiliated with the Universities Space Research
Association. He has been involved with optical, ultraviolet, X-ray and gamma-ray studies of Active Galactic Nuclei as well as accretion-powered Galactic
objects for over 25 years. He currently manages the Fermi Gamma-Ray Space Telescope Science Support Center.
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