Award Date

May 2023

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Physics and Astronomy

First Committee Member

Daniel Proga

Second Committee Member

Zhaohuan Zhu

Third Committee Member

Stephen Lepp

Fourth Committee Member

Monika Neda

Number of Pages



Observations of ionized AGN outflows have provided compelling evidence that the radiation field transfers both momentum and energy to the plasma. At parsec scale distances in AGN, energy transfer can dominate, in which case the only force needed to launch an outflow is due to gas pressure. Much closer to the black hole, gravity dominates thermal energy due to insufficient heating by the radiation and the gas is in the so-called ’cold wind solution’ regime. Only magnetic or radiation forces can lead to outflow, but it is unclear how these forces depend on the spectral energy distribution (SED) and the ionization parameter. To accurately compute the radiation force, it is still necessary to know the gas temperature, both of which require detailed accounting of the microphysics. By surveying the parameter space of radiation forces resulting from various temperature blackbody, AGN, and X-ray binary SEDs while simultaneously computing the heating and cooling balance to determine the temperature, I will characterize and quantify how the resulting wind properties depend on the assumed SED and ratio of gravitational binding energy and gas thermal energy.


active galaxies; hydrodynamics; numerical methods; radiation


Astrophysics and Astronomy

Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




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