Radiation pressure, absorption and AGN feedback in the Chandra Deep Fields

S. I. Raimundo, A. C. Fabian, F. E. Bauer, D. M. Alexander, W. N. Brandt, B. Luo, R. V. Vasudevan, Y. Q. Xue

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


The presence of absorbing gas around the central engine of active galactic nuclei (AGN) is a common feature of these objects. Recent work has looked at the effect of the dust component of the gas, and how it enhances radiation pressure such that dusty gas can have a lower effective Eddington limit than ionized gas. In this work, we use multiwavelength data and X-ray spectra from the 2 Ms exposures of the Chandra Deep Field-North and Chandra Deep Field-South surveys to characterize the AGN in terms of their Eddington ratio (λ) and hydrogen column density (NH). Their distributions are then compared with what is predicted when considering the coupling between dust and gas. Our final sample consists of 234 objects from both fields, the largest and deepest sample of AGN for which this comparison has been made up to date. We find that most of the AGN in our sample tend to be found at low Eddington ratios (typically 10-4 < λ < 10-1) and high NH (>1022 cm-2), with black hole masses in the range ~(108-109) M. Their distribution is in agreement with that expected from the enhanced radiation pressure model, avoiding the area where we would predict the presence of outflows. We also investigate how the balance between AGN radiation pressure and gravitational potential influences the behaviour of clouds in the Galactic bulge, and describe a scenario where an enhanced radiation pressure can lead to the Fundamental Plane of black hole/galaxy scaling relations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1714-1720
Number of pages7
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Issue number3
StatePublished - Nov 2010

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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