Modeling time-dependent optical and UV correlations in active galactic nuclei

Abstract : Active galactic nuclei (AGN) include the most powerful quasi-steady sources of energy known to date in the universe. Due to their distance, high brightness and small size, their inner regions are not directly resolvable with current telescopes. This is the reason why indirect techniques and theoretical models are needed to discern their structure. In this scenario the role of polarimetry is crucial. In the past it was the key method that led to the development of the Unified Model of AGN and in the future, it may give us new clues to probe unresolved AGN regions. In this thesis, I conducted radiative transfer simulations for continuous radiation of different inner regions of the AGN using the new technique of polarimetric reverberation mapping. This work has been inspired by the work of Gaskell et al. (2012). The goal of this research is to provide theoretical models of the different components of the AGN considering time-dependent polarized radiation. Scattering induced polarization has been modeled and different circumnuclear dust geometries have been explored. The results include the effects of clumpiness and different dust compositions. To further extend the model, the effects of additional extended ionized winds along the polar direction have also been explored as well as the putative equatorial scattering ring postulated to explain the polarization angle observed in pole-on AGN. The simulations were run using a time-dependent version of the STOKES code. It will be possible to extend this work in the future. Suggested future steps are including emission lines in the models, as well as more complexity in the geometry and distribution of dust and/or electrons in the scattering regions. This work will be important for taking advantage of systematic future observational data with good temporal sampling.
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Patricia Rojas Lobos. Modeling time-dependent optical and UV correlations in active galactic nuclei. Astrophysics [astro-ph]. Université de Strasbourg, 2018. English. ⟨NNT : 2018STRAE022⟩. ⟨tel-02157948⟩



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