AAS 195th Meeting, January 2000
Session 117. Active Galactic Nuclei: Modelling and Theory
Display, Saturday, January 15, 2000, 9:20am-4:00pm, Grand Hall

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[117.07] MHD Waves, Magnetic Line Broadening and Smooth Line Profiles

M.C. Bottorff, G.J. Ferland (U. Kentucky)

We show that if the broad line region clouds are in approximate energy equipartition between the magnetic field and gravity, as hypothesized by Rees, there will be a significant effect on the shape and smoothness of broad emission line profiles in active galactic nuclei. Line widths of contributing clouds or flow elements are much wider than their thermal widths, due to the presence of MHD waves, and their collective contribution produce emission line profiles broader and smoother than would be expected if a magnetic field were not present. As an illustration a simple model of isotropicly emitting clouds, normally distributed in velocity, is used to show that smoothness can be achieved for less than ~\times 104 clouds and may even be as low as a few hundred. We conclude that magnetic confinement has far reaching consequences for observing and modeling active galactic nuclei. \bigskip

\noindent This work is supported through NSF grant AST 96-17083

The author(s) of this abstract have provided an email address for comments about the abstract: bottorff@pa.uky.edu

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