Univ. Belgrade
Prof. D. Ilić
Introduction to Active Galactic Nuclei
(S2, compulsory, 6 ECTS)
Learning Outcomes:Advance and specific knowledge of astrophysics of active galactic nuclei (AGN), continuum and line radiation mechanisms in the vicinity of the supermassive black hole. Knowledge of basic spectroscopy tools and astronomical software, and active usage of online databases. Methods of scientific research. Presenting and writing scientific papers.
Knowledge and Understanding:
After the course, student should possess advance knowledge in the field of astrophysics of active galactic nuclei (observational properties of AGN, classification, structure and radiation mechanisms, AGN across electromagnetic spectrum, unification model, etc.), and the perception to connect, recognize and apply the same physical processes in different astrophysical objects. Student will perform some basic analysis of the spectra of active galactic nuclei, numerical simulations of emission line regions, usage of large online databases, and work with variety of astronomical software (e.g. CLOUDY code). Finally, student should be capable to perform independent research in the previously mentioned subjects.
Applying Knowledge and Understanding:This course will enable students to understand the physical processes responsible for the complex spectral energy distribution of AGN, and apply the same spectral analysis and deduction to any astrophysical object. Additionally, students will be trained to use different online databases (e.g. Sloan Digital Sky Survey Database) and work with true observational data. Finally, preparing and presenting the final project, students will learn how to write a scientific paper and present own work.
PrerequisitesBasic of Atomic Physics. Basics of Programming (preferably in python).
ProgramProgram of the course covers the following themes: Observational properties of active galactic nuclei (AGN) with the historical overview. Selection of AGN. Classification of AGN. Black holes. Accretion mechanism. Continuum emission of AGN. High-energy spectrum of AGN. Broad line region. Narrow line region. Photoionization and thermal equilibrium in gaseous nebulae. Spectral lines and line profile analysis. Radio spectrum of AGN. Relativistic jets. Infrared emission and the properties of dusty “torus”. Unification model of AGN. Host galaxy properties. AGN Feedback. Formation and evolution of AGN. Cosmological importance of AGN.
Description of how the course is conductedClassroom lectures,practical exercises, independent small research project.
Description of the didactic methodsLectures are in the form of presentations, with enough time dedicated to questions and discussions. During tutorials, students will have 6-7 practical exercises during which they are required to work independently, do the exercise and write a short report. In the final part of the course, students will have to do a small research projects based on the practical exercises. For the preparation of the project, students are required to search literature, read papers, and extract parts which are significant for the project.
Description of the evaluation methodsQuestions during the lectures and tutorials, preparation for the practical tutorials, reports on practical exercises, final research projects, both content and written presentation will be evaluated.The formal verification of the learning outcomes is carried out at the end of the course in the form of written test and oral examination.
Adopted TextbooksLecture notes Netzer, H. 2013, The Physics and Evolution of Active Galactic Nuclei, Cambridge University Press
Recommended readingsOsterbrock, D. E. & Ferland, G. J., 2006, Astrophysics of Gaseous Nebulae and Active Galactic Nuclei, University Science Books Peterson, B.M. 1997, An Introduction to Active Galactic Nuclei, Cambridge University Press Krolik, J. H.: 1999, Active Galactic Nuclei: From the Central Black Hole to the Galactic Environment