A Characteristic Division Between the Fueling of Quasars and Seyferts: Five Simple Tests
Hopkins, Philip F.
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CitationHopkins, Philip F., and Lars Hernquist. 2009. “A CHARACTERISTIC DIVISION BETWEEN THE FUELING OF QUASARS AND SEYFERTS: FIVE SIMPLE TESTS.” The Astrophysical Journal 694 (1): 599–609. https://doi.org/10.1088/0004-637x/694/1/599.
AbstractGiven the existence of the M-BH-sigma relation, models of self-regulated black hole (BH) growth require both a fuel supply and concomitant growth of the host bulge to deepen the central potential, or else the system will either starve or immediately self-regulate without any sustained activity. This leads to a generic prediction that the brightest quasars must be triggered in major mergers: a large fraction of the galaxy mass must be added/converted to new bulge mass and a galactic supply of gas must lose angular momentum in less than a dynamical time. Low-luminosity active galactic nuclei, in contrast, require little bulge growth and small gas supplies, and could be triggered in more common nonmerger events. This leads to the expectation of a characteristic transition to merger-induced fueling around the traditional quasar-Seyfert luminosity division (growth of BH masses above/below similar to 10(7) M-circle dot). We compile and survey a number of observations in order to test several predictions of such a division, including (1) a transition to bulge-dominated hosts (which any major merger remnant, regardless of difficult-to-observe tidal features, should be). (2) A transition between "pseudobulges" and "classical" bulges hosting the remnant BHs: pseudobulges are formed in secular processes and minor mergers, whereas classical bulges are relics of major mergers. (3) An increase in the amplitude of small-scale clustering (increased halo occupation of small group environments) where mergers are more efficient. (4) Different redshift evolution, with gas-rich merger rates rising to redshifts z > 2 while secular processes are relatively constant in time. (5) An increasing prominence of post-starburst features in more luminous systems. Our compilation of observations in each of these areas provides tentative evidence for the predicted division around the Seyfert-quasar threshold, and we discuss how future observations can improve these constraints and, in combination with the tests here, break degeneracies between different fueling models.
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