AAS 204th Meeting, June 2004
Session 60 Quasars
Poster, Wednesday, June 2, 2004, 10:00am-7:00pm, Ballroom

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[60.13] The Tilt of the QSO Fundamental Plane and AGN Classification

T. S. Hamilton (Shawnee State University), S. Casertano (Space Telescope Science Institute), D. A. Turnshek (University of Pittsburgh)

Our recent archival study of 70 medium-redshift QSOs observed with the Hubble Space Telescope showed the existence of a fundamental plane for quasars. Using a principal components analysis, we found that 3 nuclear and host properties are related in a kind of fundamental plane: nuclear luminosity (optical or x-ray), and the size and effective surface magnitude of the host. This relationship explains 95.8% of the variance in the overall sample and 98.0% in one subsample (radio-loud QSOs in elliptical hosts).

The form of the QSO fundamental plane shows similarities to the well-studied fundamental plane of elliptical galaxies, but one cannot be directly derived from the other. The key to the relationship might lie in the fueling mechanism of the central black hole. Furthermore, the various classes of QSOs are characterized fairly simply by different fundamental plane slopes. We find the subsamples are collected into two distinct groups (distinguished by combinations of radio loudness and host morphology) with slopes of opposite sign. Low-Luminosity AGN exhibit a fundamental plane nearly parallel to that of QSOs, and we are investigating other AGN classes. If the tilt of an AGN class' fundamental plane is determined by its black hole fueling mechanism, then by comparing the slopes for different types of AGN, we may be able to test unified models.

If you would like more information about this abstract, please follow the link to http://cet.ssu.portsmouth.oh.us/~thamilton/research/. This link was provided by the author. When you follow it, you will leave the Web site for this meeting; to return, you should use the Back comand on your browser.

The author(s) of this abstract have provided an email address for comments about the abstract: hamilton@milkyway.gsfc.nasa.gov

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