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Session 32 - RXTE Diagnostics of Active Galactic Nuclei.
Topical, Oral session, Tuesday, June 09
Blazars are the class of Active Galactic Nuclei most dominated by non-thermal (synchrotron and inverse Compton) emission from a relativistic jet oriented close to the line of sight. The study of blazar emission processes offers us the opportunity to elucidate the mechanisms of energy extraction from the putative central black hole where the jets form, a fundamental goal of AGN research. Correlated multifrequency variability is the key to determine the jet structure since the predicted time lags, duration of flares at various frequencies, and spectral variability are a function of jet geometry and physical processes occurring in it. The RXTE, with its high temporal resolution and flexible scheduling, is particularly well matched to probing fast (down to a few hundred seconds) variations at medium and hard X-rays, and to obtaining well-sampled light curves for cross-correlation with TeV, GeV, and longer wavelengths. Its wide energy passband, covering the region where the synchrotron and inverse Compton components overlap, is ideal to quantify the relative contributions of these two spectral components and to study their variability. In this talk, I will review the results from RXTE observations of a number of bright blazars, with particular emphasis on recent multifrequency campaigns, and will summarize the current observational constraints they provide for blazar emission models.
Program listing for Tuesday