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Quasars: From the Physics of Line Formation to Cosmology

AuthorsMarziani, Paola ; Bon, Edi; Bon, Natasa; Olmo, Ascensión del ; Martínez-Aldama, M.L.; D’Onofrio, Mauro; Dultzin, D.; Negrete, C. Alenka; Stirpe, G.M.
KeywordsBlack hole physics
Quasar spectroscopy
Cosmological parameters
Ionized gas
Broad line region
Issue Date4-Feb-2019
PublisherMultidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute
CitationAtoms 7(1): 18 (2019)
AbstractQuasars accreting matter at very high rates (known as extreme Population A (xA) or super-Eddington accreting massive black holes) provide a new class of distance indicators covering cosmic epochs from the present-day Universe up to less than 1 Gyr from the Big Bang. The very high accretion rate makes it possible that massive black holes hosted in xA quasars can radiate at a stable, extreme luminosity-to-mass ratio. This in turn translates into stable physical and dynamical conditions of the mildly ionized gas in the quasar low-ionization line emitting region. In this contribution, we analyze the main optical and UV spectral properties of extreme Population A quasars that make them easily identifiable in large spectroscopic surveys at low- (z . 1) and intermediate-z (2 . z . 2.6), and the physical conditions that are derived for the formation of their emission lines. Ultimately, the analysis supports the possibility of identifying a virial broadening estimator from low-ionization line widths, and the conceptual validity of the redshift-independent luminosity estimates based on virial broadening for a known luminosity-to-mass ratio
Publisher version (URL)http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/atoms7010018
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