Orientation and accretion in a representative sample of active galactic nuclei.
RUNNOE J.C. and BOROSON T.
Abstract (from CDS):
We highlight a representative sample of active galactic nuclei selected independent of orientation. The defining characteristic of the selection is sophisticated matching between the 0.1 < z < 0.6 Sloan Digital Sky Survey quasars from the Seventh Data Release to the Westerbork Northern Sky Survey at 325 MHz and the subsequent application of a spatially integrated radio spectral luminosity density cut. The resulting sample is complete down to the limiting luminosity and unbiased by orientation. Compared to orientation samples in the literature this approach yields less bias with redshift, relatively more lobe-dominated sources including those with radio lobes and no visible core, and a distribution of radio core dominance that is consistent with expectations from a uniform distribution of inclinations with solid angle. We measure properties of the optical spectra, and use the sample to investigate the orientation dependence of the velocity width of the broad Hβ emission line. We recover the known orientation dependence, but the sharp envelope of previous studies where only edge-on sources display the broadest lines, is absent. Scatter in this diagram is not attributable solely to black hole mass, Eddington ratio, or contamination in the sample from compact steep-spectrum sources. A physical framework for quasar beaming and a disk-like broad-line region can describe the representative sample when it is expanded to include additional parameters, in particular jet properties and the broad-line region velocity field. These points serve to illustrate the critical role of sample selection in the interpretation of observable properties as indicators of physical parameters of quasar central engines.