Active Galactic Nuclei: From the Central Black Hole to the Galactic Environment

Active Galactic Nuclei: From the Central Black Hole to the Galactic Environment

by Julian H. Krolik, Princeton University Press
     
 
This is the first comprehensive treatment of active galactic nuclei -- the cosmic powerhouses at the core of many distant galaxies. The term active galactic nuclei refers to quasars, radio galaxies, Seyfert galaxies, blazars, and related objects, all of which are believed to share a similar central engine -- a supermassive black hole many times the mass of the

Overview

This is the first comprehensive treatment of active galactic nuclei -- the cosmic powerhouses at the core of many distant galaxies. The term active galactic nuclei refers to quasars, radio galaxies, Seyfert galaxies, blazars, and related objects, all of which are believed to share a similar central engine -- a supermassive black hole many times the mass of the Sun. Astrophysicists have studied these phenomena for the past several decades and have begun to develop a consensus about many of their properties and internal mechanisms. Julian Krolik, one of the world's leading authorities on the subject, sums up leading ideas from across the entire range of research, making this book an invaluable resource for astronomers, physicists interested in applications of the theory of gravitation, and graduate students.

Krolik begins by addressing basic questions about active galactic nuclei: What are they? How can they be found? How do they evolve? He assesses the evidence for massive black holes and considers how they generate power by accretion. He discusses X-ray and g-ray emission, radio emission and jets, emission and absorption lines, anisotropic appearance, and the relationship between an active nucleus and its host galaxy. He explores the mysteries of what ignites, fuels, and extinguishes active galactic nuclei, and concludes with a general review of where the field now stands. The book is unique in paying careful attention to relevant physics as well as astronomy, reflecting in part the importance of general relativity to understanding active galactic nuclei. Clear, authoritative, and detailed, this is crucial reading for anyone interested in one of the most dynamic areas of astrophysics today.

Editorial Reviews

Booknews
What should anyone care about active galactic nuclei? After answering that AGNs are among the most spectacular celestial objects and play a major role in studying the evolution of the universe, the author elucidates such topics as: their most salient properties, how to find them, black hole physics, accretion disks, emissions, properties of AGN host galaxies, and accomplishments and knowledge gaps in the field. Appends material on a basic general relativity, basic magnetohydrodynamics, discontinuities, population statistics, the tensor virial theorem, and kinematics in an expanding universe. Outlines three audience tracks: a one-semester course for second-year astrophysics graduate students, the phenomenologist, and the physicist. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
Nature
Krolik treats almost every aspect of the AGN phenomenon, . . . . This global survey of AGN physics makes Krolik's book the most useful in the field for years. . . . [A] valuable reference for anybody interested in the physics of these cosmic powerhouses.
— Chris Reynolds
Physics Today
A broad and thorough review of the standard model for AGN, including observational information and theoretical modeling. It will provide graduate and advanced undergraduate students with an excellent introduction to the field.
— Ruth A. Daly
Nature - Chris Reynolds
Krolik treats almost every aspect of the AGN phenomenon, . . . . This global survey of AGN physics makes Krolik's book the most useful in the field for years. . . . [A] valuable reference for anybody interested in the physics of these cosmic powerhouses.
Physics Today - Ruth A. Daly
A broad and thorough review of the standard model for AGN, including observational information and theoretical modeling. It will provide graduate and advanced undergraduate students with an excellent introduction to the field.
From the Publisher
Winner of the 1999 Award for Best Professional/Scholarly Book in Physics and Astronomy, Association of American Publishers

"Krolik treats almost every aspect of the AGN phenomenon, . . . . This global survey of AGN physics makes Krolik's book the most useful in the field for years. . . . [A] valuable reference for anybody interested in the physics of these cosmic powerhouses."—Chris Reynolds,Nature

"A broad and thorough review of the standard model for AGN, including observational information and theoretical modeling. It will provide graduate and advanced undergraduate students with an excellent introduction to the field."—Ruth A. Daly, Physics Today

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780691011523
Publisher:
Princeton University Press
Publication date:
12/14/1998
Series:
Princeton Series in Astrophysics Series
Pages:
632
Product dimensions:
6.40(w) x 9.45(h) x 1.50(d)

What People are saying about this

Marek Abramowicz
I read this book with great interest and joy. It covers the whole subject of active galactic nuclei in depth.
Marek Abramowicz, Goteborg University, Sweden
Martin Rees
Julian Krolik, himself a substantial contributor to high-energy astrophysics, has written an impressive book that will be welcomed by researchers in the field. . . . It fills a notable gap in the existing literature.
Martin Rees, Institute of Astronomy, University of Cambridge

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