Institute of Astronomy

A Modern View of Quasars in the LSST Era

SpeakerTalk DateTalk Series
Gordon Richards (Drexel, Philadelphia)26 November 2020Institute of Astronomy Colloquia


A modern view of luminous quasars recognizes them as diverse *processes* as opposed to the traditional view as more static *things*. Such a picture is important both to understanding quasars themselves and also the role that they play in the evolution of galaxies. I will present some broad perspectives on the relationship between quasar physics and their spectral energy distributions (SED) from the X-ray to radio. I will discuss connections between the accretion rate, black hole mass, optical/UV continuum, radio loudness, broad absorption line properties, and emission line properties. In particular, a case can be made that radio emission (while quite rare in luminous quasars) may provide a key to better understanding of the physics of the population as a whole. I'll segue to a discussion of the prospects for quasar/AGN science from the Legacy Survey of Space and Time (LSST) that will soon begin at the Vera Rubin Observatory. LSST will leverage deep imaging, wide area, the time domain, and machine learning algorithms to discover on order of 100 million AGNs and quasars. I'll discuss how AGN experts are beginning to prepare for the influx of LSST data and describe the potential for mutual benefit from cross-collaborations between researchers focusing on different aspects of LSST science.


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