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Energy Distributions of AGN

from II - Luminosity Functions and Continuum Energy Distributions

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  04 August 2010

Chris Impey
Affiliation:
Steward Observatory, University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona 85721, USA
Andrew Robinson
Affiliation:
University of Cambridge
Roberto Juan Terlevich
Affiliation:
Royal Greenwich Observatory, Cambridge
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Summary

Abstract

AGN emit energy across the electromagnetic spectrum from radio waves to gamma rays. Observations in any single waveband give a very incomplete view of the relevant physical processes; higher energies generally probe smaller scales near the nucleus. AGN with compact radio cores show nonthermal emission from relativistic particles at many wavelengths. Many observed properties are altered by beamed emission from a relativistic jet. Low luminosity AGN without strong radio cores show thermal emission from cool dust in the far infrared, and from hot gas in the ultraviolet. Anisotropic obscuration leads to observed properties which are a function of orientation. A new window on AGN has been opened with the detection of high energy gamma rays.

Introduction

The greatest challenge in research on Active Galactic Nuclei (AGN) is to understand the physical mechanisms behind the prodigious energy output of these distant sources. Progress has been slow because the continuum emission extends over at least eighteen decades in frequency (from 108 to 1026 Hz). Unfortunately, we operate our narrow bandwidth detectors in a broad bandwidth universe. Until the past decade, most of our information had come from two limited windows at radio and optical frequencies. Space missions and new detector technologies have opened up a variety of new wavebands, for example in the millimetre, far infrared, X-ray and γ-ray parts of the spectrum.

Type
Chapter
Information
The Nature of Compact Objects in Active Galactic Nuclei
Proceedings of the 33rd Herstmonceux Conference, held in Cambridge, July 6-22, 1992
, pp. 131 - 138
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 1994

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  • Energy Distributions of AGN
    • By Chris Impey, Steward Observatory, University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona 85721, USA
  • Edited by Andrew Robinson, University of Cambridge, Roberto Juan Terlevich, Royal Greenwich Observatory, Cambridge
  • Book: The Nature of Compact Objects in Active Galactic Nuclei
  • Online publication: 04 August 2010
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511564765.032
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  • Energy Distributions of AGN
    • By Chris Impey, Steward Observatory, University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona 85721, USA
  • Edited by Andrew Robinson, University of Cambridge, Roberto Juan Terlevich, Royal Greenwich Observatory, Cambridge
  • Book: The Nature of Compact Objects in Active Galactic Nuclei
  • Online publication: 04 August 2010
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511564765.032
Available formats
×

Send book to Google Drive

To send content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

  • Energy Distributions of AGN
    • By Chris Impey, Steward Observatory, University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona 85721, USA
  • Edited by Andrew Robinson, University of Cambridge, Roberto Juan Terlevich, Royal Greenwich Observatory, Cambridge
  • Book: The Nature of Compact Objects in Active Galactic Nuclei
  • Online publication: 04 August 2010
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511564765.032
Available formats
×