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The structure of the dusty cores of active galactic nuclei

Promotor: W. Jaffe, Co-promotor: K. Meisenheimer

Noel López Gonzaga
12 april 2016
Thesis in Leiden Repository

Active galactic nuclei (AGN) have been extensively studied to understand the possible link between the growth of super-massive black holes (SMBHs) and the evolution of galaxies. Circumnuclear dust present in AGNs plays a major role in the unification theory of AGNs. The X-ray/Optical/UV light from the central engine is absorbed and re-emitted in the infrared by this circumnuclear dust. In this thesis, we take advantage of the relevant information provided by infrared interferometric observations to investigate the geometry and the properties of the dusty environment. We analyzed infrared interferometric measurements of the object NGC1068 and determined the geometry, composition and temperature profile of the nuclear dust in this object. We additionally performed an analysis of a set of local galaxies to trace the dominant direction of the infrared emission, where we find that polar elongations are common in Seyfert galaxies. Finally, we present a statistically analysis on a set of Seyfert galaxies to test the validity of the standard model of AGNs. We investigated the similarities of Seyfert galaxies by combining infrared interferometric observations with radiative transfer clumpy models.

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