Journal Article

Estimates of black hole spin properties of 55 sources

Ruth. A. Daly

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

Published on behalf of The Royal Astronomical Society

Volume 414, issue 2, pages 1253-1262
Published in print June 2011 | ISSN: 0035-8711
Published online June 2011 | e-ISSN: 1365-2966 | DOI:
Estimates of black hole spin properties of 55 sources

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Studies of black hole spin and other parameters as a function of redshift provide information about the physical state and merger and accretion histories of the systems. One way that black hole spin may be estimated is through observations of extended radio sources. These sources, powered by outflows from an AGN, allow the beam power and total outflow energy to be studied. In a broad class of models, the beam power of the outflow is related to the spin of the black hole. This relationship is used to estimate black hole spins for 55 radio sources. The samples studied include 7 FR II quasars and 19 FR II radio galaxies with redshifts between 0.056 and 1.79, and 29 radio sources associated with CD galaxies with redshifts between 0.0035 and 0.291. The FR II sources studied have estimated spin values of between about 0.2 and 1; there is a range of values at a given redshift, and the values tend to increase with increasing redshift. Results obtained for FR II quasars are very similar to those obtained for FR II galaxies. A broader range of spin values are obtained for the sample of radio sources associated with CD galaxies studied. The fraction of the spin energy extracted per outflow event is estimated and ranges from about 0.03 to 0.5 for FR II sources and 0.002 to about 1 for radio sources associated with CD galaxies; the data are consistent with this fraction being independent of redshift though the uncertainties are large. The results obtained are consistent with those predicted by numerical simulations that track the merger and accretion history of AGN, supporting the idea that, for AGN with powerful large-scale outflows, beam power is directly related to black hole spin.

Keywords: black hole physics; galaxies: active

Journal Article.  8225 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics

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