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Title: Active Galactic Nuclei Feedback and Galactic Outflows
Authors: Sun, Ai-Lei
Advisors: Greene, Jenny E.
Contributors: Astrophysical Sciences Department
Keywords: Active Galactic Nuclei
AGN Feedback
Galaxy Evolution
Optical Astronomy
Radio Astronomy
Subjects: Astrophysics
Issue Date: 2016
Publisher: Princeton, NJ : Princeton University
Abstract: Feedback from active galactic nuclei (AGN) is thought to regulate the growth of supermassive black holes (SMBHs) and galaxies. The most direct evidence of AGN feedback is probably galactic outflows. This thesis addresses the link between SMBHs and their host galaxies from four different observational perspectives. First, I study the local correlation between black hole mass and the galactic halo potential (the MBH − Vc relation) based on Very Large Array (VLA) HI observations of galaxy rotation curves. Although there is a correlation, it is no tighter than the well-studied MBH − σ∗ relation between the black hole mass and the potential of the galactic bulge, indicating that physical processes, such as feedback, could link the evolution of the black hole to the baryons in the bulge. In what follows, I thus search for galactic outflows as direct evidence of AGN feedback. Second, I use the Atacama Large Millimeter Array (ALMA) to observe a luminous obscured AGN that hosts an ionized galactic outflow and find a compact but massive molecular outflow that can potentially quench the star formation in 10^6 years. The third study extends the sample of known ionized outflows with new Magellan long-slit observations of 12 luminous obscured AGN. I find that most luminous obscured AGN (Lbol > 10^46 ergs s^−1) host ionized outflows on 10 kpc scales, and the size of the outflow correlates strongly with the luminosity of the AGN. Lastly, to capitalize on the power of modern photometric surveys, I experiment with a new broadband imaging technique to study the morphology of AGN emission line regions and outflows. With images from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS), this method successfully constructs images of the [OIII]λ5007 emission line and reveals hundreds of extended emission-line systems. When applied to current and future surveys, such as the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST), this technique could open a new parameter space for the study of AGN outflows. In summary, through multi-phase and multi-scale galactic outflows, AGN feedback can link the growth of SMBHs with the evolution of galaxies.
Alternate format: The Mudd Manuscript Library retains one bound copy of each dissertation. Search for these copies in the library's main catalog:
Type of Material: Academic dissertations (Ph.D.)
Language: en
Appears in Collections:Astrophysical Sciences

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