Quasars and their emission lines as cosmological probes


Quasars are the most luminous sources in the Universe. They are currently observed out to redshift z ~ 7 when the Universe was less than one tenth of its present age. Since their discovery 50 years ago astronomers have dreamed of using them as standard candles. Unfortunately quasars cover a very large range (8 dex) of luminosity making them far from standard. We briefly review several methods that can potentially exploit quasars properties and allow us to obtain useful constraints on principal cosmological parameters. Using our 4D Eigenvector 1 formalism we have found a way to effectively isolate quasars radiating near the Eddington limit. If the Eddington ratio is known, under several assumptions it is possible to derive distance independent luminosities. We discuss and the main statistical and systematic errors involved, and whether these “standard Eddington candles” can be actually used to constrain cosmological models.

Read this paper on arXiv…

Date added: Mon, 14 Oct 13