X-ray insights into jets and outflows in radio-loud quasars

Open Access
Miller, Brendan Peter
Graduate Program:
Astronomy and Astrophysics
Doctor of Philosophy
Document Type:
Date of Defense:
October 01, 2009
Committee Members:
  • Niel Brandt, Dissertation Advisor
  • William N Brandt, Committee Chair
  • Michael Eracleous, Committee Member
  • Donald P Schneider, Committee Member
  • Richard Wallace Robinett, Committee Member
  • Gordon Paul Garmire, Committee Member
  • broad absorption line
  • quasar jets
  • quasars
  • x-ray astronomy
This work presents X-ray investigations into jets and outflows in radio-loud quasars (RLQs). Deep observations have been conducted of individual objects including a broad absorption line (BAL) RLQ and multiple hybrid morphology radio sources, a survey of BAL RLQs has been performed and supplemented with analysis of archival data, and a large-scale statistical study of X-ray emission in RLQs and radio-intermediate quasars (RIQs) has been carried out. Key findings from these projects include (1) detection of variable X-ray absorption in a BAL RLQ, helping link X-ray absorption with the BAL outflow as in BAL radio-quiet quasars (RQQs); (2) determination that the typical factor of X-ray weakness in BAL RLQs is less than in BAL RQQs, consistent with obscuration of the disk/corona system as in BAL RQQs but with a small-scale (likely partially covered) X-ray jet contributing the majority of the observed X-ray emission; (3) parameterization of the dependence of X-ray luminosity in RIQs and RLQs upon optical/UV and radio luminosity, measurement of the X-ray brightness of RIQs and RLQs relative to RQQs as a function of radio loudness and luminosity, and evaluation of the fractional contribution of jet-linked X-ray emission to the nuclear continuum as a function of inclination; (4) conclusive identification of hybrid morphology radio sources as intrinsically powerful objects, in which a dense surrounding environment must disrupt the jet on one side.