Vol 8, No 1

Geometry of Broad Line Regions of Active Galactic Nuclei

Xiao-Rong Lü


Abstract It has long remained an open question as to the geometry of the broad line region (BLR) in active galactic nuclei (AGNs). The reverberation mapping technique which measures the response of the broad emission lines to the ionizing continuum, when combined with multiwavelength continuum fitted by sophisticated accretion disks, provides a way of probing the BLR geometry. We analyze a sample of 35 AGNs, which have been monitored by the reverberation mapping campaign. In view of energy budget, the reverberation-based BH masses are found to be in agreement with those obtained by accretion disk models in two thirds of the present sample while the reverberation mapping methods underestimate the BH masses in about one third of objects, as also suggested by Collin et al. in a recent work. We point out that there are obviously two kinds of BLR geometry, which are strongly dependent on the Eddington ratio, and separated by the value LBol/LEdd~0.1. These results prefer a scenario of the disk and wind configuration of the BLR and identify the Eddington ratio as the physical driver regulating the wind in the BLR.



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