Back to Volume
Paper: The Shape of the Big Blue Bump as Revealed by Spectropolarimetry
Volume: 311, AGN Physics with the Sloan Digital Sky Survey
Page: 381
Authors: Antonucci, R.; Kishimoto, M.; Boisson, C.; Blaes, O.
Abstract: Thermal models for the quasar Big Blue Bump generally lead to bound-free continuum features, which may be in absorption or emission. Searches for Lyman edges attributable to quasar atmospheres (in particular accretion disk atmospheres) have been ambiguous at best, but various relativistic and non-LTE effects may make them hard to detect. The Balmer edge features tentatively predicted by such models might be easier to detect since they would form farther out in the potential wells. These can be sought in certain cases using spectropolarimetry to remove the effects of atomic emission (i.e., the Small Blue Bump) from the spectrum. We do find apparent Balmer edges in absorption in several quasars using this method! Although the features we see are believable and apparently common, more data and more modeling are needed.
Back to Volume