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J.W. Wilson, H.R. Miller, E.C. Ferrara, J.P. McFarland, A.B. Daya (Georgia State University), R.E. Fried (Braeside Observatory)
Narrow-Line Seyfert 1 galaxies are a peculiar but important group of Seyfert 1 galaxies that are characterized by strong soft X-ray excess emission, extremely rapid and large-amplitude X-ray variability, steep 2-10 keV power-law continua, and unusual discrete spectral features. The origin of the distinctive X-ray/optical properties is yet unknown, but is plausibly linked to an extreme value of a primary physical parameter: the accretion rate, nuclear orientation and black hole spin have been suggested. Because of their extreme properties, the study of Narrow-Line Seyfert 1s should allow us to progress in solving the diverse problems more generally posed by the Seyfert phenomenon. The giant amplitude X-ray variability is an especially interesting characteristic. It would be of great interest to determine if a similar phenomenon is present at optical wavelengths, and if so, what if any relationship exists between these different regimes. During the past two years, we have embarked upon a program of investigation which has as its primary goal the detection of rapid optical variations, if they exist, for a sample of five NLS1 galaxies. The results are clearly positive for IRAS 13224-3809. However, the results are less conclusive for the other four galaxies in our sample (AKN 564, MRK 766, PG 1404+226 and PG 1244+026). A summary of the results of our program will be presented. The authors gratefully acknowledge support from the RPE fund at Georgia State University and support from NASA.