Polarized Continuum Transfer in AGN Accretion Disks

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Session 4 -- AGNs
Display presentation, Monday, 9:20-6:30, Pauley Room

[4.08] Polarized Continuum Transfer in AGN Accretion Disks

J.C. Liu, G. Lee, G.A. Kriss, A.F. Davidsen (JHU)

\noindent \hspace*{5 mm}We present the preliminary results of a calculation of polarized continuum radiation transfer in the radiation-pressure dominated inner region of the massive thin accretion disks which might exist in Active Galactic Nuclei (AGN). We assume an adiabatic vertical structure for the disk in which the total pressure is a power of the mass density, and then numerically solve the transfer equations for the polarized radiation. Our principle result is the frequency dependence of the continuum polarization. For reasonable model parameters we find low optical ($\sim 2 \%$) and the UV ($\sim 3 \%$) polarizations that agree with the present polarization observations of AGN. We also find strong polarization features at the hydrogen Lyman edge. Our more general calculations agree qualitatively with a simple rescaling of Chandrasekhar's pure electron scattering atmosphere for bound-free opacity corrections as presented by Laor $et.al.$ 1990, MNRAS, 242$, 560.


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