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Using the Broad Emission Lines of Quasars To Study the Dynamics of Gas in the Accretion Flow

Event Details

Event Dates: 

Monday, February 9, 2015 - 4:00pm

Seminar Location: 

  • JILA Auditorium

Speaker Name(s): 

Michael Eracleous

Speaker Affiliation(s): 

Penn State University
Seminar Type/Subject

Scientific Seminar Type: 

  • Astrophysical & Planetary Sciences Seminar

Event Details & Abstract: 

The broad emission lines of quasars are now used as tools to study the properties of the gas in the immediate vicinity of the supermassive black holes. Examples of such applications include estimating black holes masses, probing the dynamics of the accretion flow, and searching for binary supermassive black holes. The utility of the broad lines as tools depends on our understanding of the structure of the gaseous medium that emits them, the "broad-line region." In this talk I will describe some of the current uses of the broad emission lines and then step back and consider what we know about the broad line region in order to highlight some of the uncertainties in order to highlight some of the uncertainties inherent in using the broad lines as tools.