Dust in the wind I: spectropolarimetric signatures from disk-born outflows

In this first research note of a series of two, we conduct optical/UV investigations of the spectropolarimetric signatures emerging from the structure of quasars (Elvis 2000) applied to a purely theoretical, dusty model. We aim to explore the similarities/differences between an absorbing, disk-born outflow and the usual dusty torus that is supposed to hide the internal regions of active galactic nuclei (AGN). Using radiative transfer Monte Carlo simulations, we compute the continuum polarization signatures emerging from the model setup of Elvis (2000). We find that a dust-filled outflow produces very low amount of wavelength-depend polarization degrees, associated with a photon polarization angle perpendicular to the projected symmetry axis of the model. The polarization percentages are ten times lower than what can be produced by a toroidal model, with a maximal polarization degree found for intermediate viewing angle (i.e. when the observer’s line-of-sight crosses the outflowing material). The structure for quasars unsuccessfully blocks the radiation from the central irradiating source and shows a spectropolarimetric behavior that cannot be conciliated with observations. Either a new set of morphological parameters or different optical thickness must be considered.

Read this paper on arXiv…

Date added: Tue, 8 Oct 13