Journal Article

On the jet contribution to the active galactic nuclei cosmic energy budget

A. Cattaneo and P. N. Best

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

Published on behalf of The Royal Astronomical Society

Volume 395, issue 1, pages 518-523
Published in print May 2009 | ISSN: 0035-8711
Published online April 2009 | e-ISSN: 1365-2966 | DOI:
On the jet contribution to the active galactic nuclei cosmic energy budget

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Black holes release energy via the production of photons in their accretion discs but also via the acceleration of jets. We investigate the relative importance of these two paths over cosmic time by determining the mechanical luminosity function (LF) of radio sources and by comparing it to a previous determination of the bolometric LF of active galactic nuclei (AGN) from X-ray, optical and infrared observations. The mechanical LF of radio sources is computed in two steps: the determination of the mechanical luminosity as a function of the radio luminosity and its convolution with the radio LF of radio sources. Even with the large uncertainty deriving from the former, we can conclude that the contribution of jets is unlikely to be much larger than ∼10 per cent of the AGN energy budget at any cosmic epoch.

Keywords: black hole physics; galaxies: active; galaxies: jets

Journal Article.  5694 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics

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