AGN: populations, parameters and power

12th Birmingham-Nottingham Extragalactic Workshop

27-28th September 2010

The Birmingham Nottingham extragalactic workshop series consists of informal 2-day events, involving typically ~50 participants, with the aim of bringing together researchers in related strands of research in a topical and well-focussed area of extragalactic astronomy.

The format will be similar to previous workshops in the series, with a mixture of 15 and 30 minute talks, leaving plenty of time for discussion.

Scientific background

This year's topic focuses on accretion modes of Active Galactic Nuclei (AGN), the relation to their environment and the implications for feedback. Supermassive black holes, at the core of galaxies, primarily grow through accretion of material, and are observed as AGN. Whether an AGN is observed as a radio, optical, infrared or X-ray source depends on various parameters related to the black hole and its predominant mode of accretion, the latter being linked to the immediate environment of the black hole. In addition, the energy output and evolution of the AGN are related to various properties of the host galaxies, e.g. colour and star formation rate, and of the larger-scale environment, e.g. the intergalactic medium (IGM) of the group or cluster of which the host is a member.

We would like to discuss the various processes involved in the interaction between AGN and environment, from the points of view of observers, theorists and simulators. We would also look for relevant lessons that can be learnt from related fields. e.g. micro-quasars. We expect to concentrate in particular on issues of energetics, and the extent to which the various states of the AGN provide cosmic feedback.

Organising Committee