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  1. ABSTRACT We report on three redshift z > 2 quasars with dramatic changes in their C iv emission lines, the first sample of changing-look quasars (CLQs) at high redshift. This is also the first time the changing-look behaviour has been seen in a high-ionization emission line. SDSS J1205+3422, J1638+2827, and J2228 + 2201 show interesting behaviour in their observed optical light curves, and subsequent spectroscopy shows significant changes in the C iv broad emission line, with both line collapse and emergence being displayed on rest-frame time-scales of ∼240–1640 d. These are rapid changes, especially when considering virial black hole mass estimates of MBH > 109M⊙more »for all three quasars. Continuum and emission line measurements from the three quasars show changes in the continuum-equivalent width plane with the CLQs seen to be on the edge of the full population distribution, and showing indications of an intrinsic Baldwin effect. We put these observations in context with recent state-change models, and note that even in their observed low-state, the C iv CLQs are generally above ∼5 per cent in Eddington luminosity.« less
  2. ABSTRACT In this paper, we provide updated constraints on the bolometric quasar luminosity function (QLF) from z = 0 to z = 7. The constraints are based on an observational compilation that includes observations in the rest-frame IR, B band, UV, soft, and hard X-ray in past decades. Our method follows Hopkins et al. with an updated quasar SED model and bolometric and extinction corrections. The new best-fitting bolometric quasar luminosity function behaves qualitatively different from the old Hopkins model at high redshift. Compared with the old model, the number density normalization decreases towards higher redshift and the bright-end slope is steeper atmore »z ≳ 2. Due to the paucity of measurements at the faint end, the faint end slope at z ≳ 5 is quite uncertain. We present two models, one featuring a progressively steeper faint-end slope at higher redshift and the other featuring a shallow faint-end slope at z ≳ 5. Further multiband observations of the faint-end QLF are needed to distinguish between these models. The evolutionary pattern of the bolometric QLF can be interpreted as an early phase likely dominated by the hierarchical assembly of structures and a late phase likely dominated by the quenching of galaxies. We explore the implications of this model on the ionizing photon production by quasars, the CXB spectrum, the SMBH mass density, and mass functions. The predicted hydrogen photoionization rate contributed by quasars is subdominant during the epoch of reionization and only becomes important at z ≲ 3. The predicted CXB spectrum, cosmic SMBH mass density, and SMBH mass function are generally consistent with existing observations.« less
  3. Abstract We present the results of a systematic search for quasars in the Catalina Real-time Transient Survey exhibiting both strong photometric and spectroscopic variability over a decadal baseline. We identify 111 sources with specific patterns of optical and mid-IR photometric behavior and a defined spectroscopic change. These “Changing-State” quasars (CSQs) form a higher luminosity sample to complement existing sets of “Changing-Look” AGN and quasars in the literature. The CSQs (by selection) exhibit larger photometric variability than the CLQs. The spectroscopic variability is marginally stronger in the CSQs than CLQs as defined by the change in Hβ/[O iii] ratio. We find 48more »sources with declining Hβ flux, 63 sources with increasing Hβ flux and discover eight sources with z > 0.8, further extending the redshift arm. Our CSQ sample compares to the literature CLQ objects in similar distributions of Hβ flux ratios and differential Eddington ratios between high (bright) and low (dim) states. Taken as a whole, we find that this population of extreme varying quasars is associated with changes in the Eddington ratio and the timescales imply cooling/heating fronts propagating through the disk.« less