Cosmological Evolution of Supermassive Black Holes in the Centres of Galaxies
Anna D. Kapinska
Dr. C.R. Kaiser, Dr. P. Uttley & Dr. T.J. Maccarone
School of Physics & Astronomy
University of Southampton
Ph.D. Thesis accepted by the University of Southampton
Radio galaxies and quasars are among the largest and most powerful single objects known and are believed to have had a significant impact on the evolving Universe and its large scale structure. Their jets inject a significant amount of energy into the surrounding medium, hence they can provide useful information in the study of the density and evolution of the intergalactic and intracluster medium. The jet activity is also believed to regulate the growth of massive galaxies via the AGN feedback.
In this thesis I explore the intrinsic and extrinsic physical properties of the population of Fanaroff-Riley II (FR II) objects, i.e. their kinetic luminosities, lifetimes, and central densities of their environments. In particular, the radio and kinetic luminosity functions of these powerful radio sources are investigated using the complete, flux limited radio catalogues of 3CRR and BRL. I construct multidimensional Monte Carlo simulations using semi-analytical models of FR II source time evolution to create artificial samples of radio galaxies. Unlike previous studies, I compare radio luminosity functions found with both the observed and simulated data to explore the best-fitting fundamental source parameters. The Monte Carlo method presented here allows one to: (i) set better limits on the predicted fundamental parameters of which confidence intervals estimated over broad ranges are presented, and (ii) generate the most plausible underlying parent populations of these radio sources. Moreover, I allow the source physical properties to co-evolve with redshift, and I find that all the investigated parameters most likely undergo cosmological evolution; however these parameters are strongly degenerate, and independent constraints are necessary to draw more precise conclusions. Furthermore, since it has been suggested that low luminosity FR IIs may be distinct from their powerful equivalents, I attempt to investigate fundamental properties of a sample of low redshift, low radio luminosity density radio galaxies. Based on SDSS-FIRST-NVSS radio sample I construct a low frequency (325 MHz) sample of radio galaxies and attempt to explore the fundamental properties of these low luminosity radio sources. The results are discussed through comparison with the results from the powerful radio sources of the 3CRR and BRL samples.
Finally, I investigate the total power injected by populations of these powerful radio sources at various cosmological epochs and discuss the significance of the impact of these sources on the evolving Universe. Remarkably, sets of two degenerate fundamental parameters, the kinetic luminosity and maximum lifetimes of radio sources, despite the degeneracy provide particularly robust estimates of the total power produced by FR IIs during their lifetimes. This can be also used for robust estimations of the quenching of the cooling flows in cluster of galaxies.
Full thesis avalaible here (Univ. of Southampton).
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