Award Date

12-1-2017

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Physics and Astronomy

First Committee Member

George Rhee

Second Committee Member

Daniel Proga

Third Committee Member

Stephen Lepp

Fourth Committee Member

David Lee

Number of Pages

67

Abstract

The broad line regions (BLR) of Type I Active galactic nuclei (AGN) are too small to be spatially resolved even with the most powerful telescopes available. Observations suggest that BLR gas is moving under the influence of the gravitational potential of the central supermassive black-hole (SMBH) and responds to the variations in the ionizing continuum flux of the accretion disk, giving rise to broad emission line variations with a time delay. Reverberation mapping campaigns seek to use this time variability to resolve the BLRs in the time domain instead of spatial domain, providing a way to infer geometry and kinematics of the BLR and calculate the mass of the SMBH. Numerous BLR models have been proposed over the years but only few of them are physically motivated. In this work, we examine the feasibility of constraining the parameters of such a physically motivated model; a disk-wind model of the BLR. We employ a Bayesian inference framework to compare predicted line light curves to an observed line light curve, using simulated data. A shortcoming of reverberation mapped data is that they may contain large gaps between consecutive observations. Therefore, additionally, we implement a method and provide a code to evenly sample real observed continuum light curves in order to carry out similar analysis using real observational data.

Keywords

Broad Line Region; Reverberation Mapping

Disciplines

Astrophysics and Astronomy | Physics

Language

English

Available for download on Saturday, December 15, 2018


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