Year of Publication

2012

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation

College

Arts and Sciences

Department

Physics and Astronomy

First Advisor

Dr. Moshe Elitzur

Abstract

In the framework of active galactic nuclei (AGNs), a galaxy’s supermassive black hole is surrounded by a dusty torus whose clumpy configuration allows for either direct or obscured views toward the central engine. Viewing AGNs from different angles gives rise to a variety of AGN classifications; for example, the generic Type 1 AGN class requires the detection of optically broad emission lines, which arise from quickly moving material within the torus, whereas Type 2 AGNs lack these observations. While these viewing angles are not directly observable, synthetic torus models generated with CLUMPY provide a means to determine them along with other parameters that describe the nature and characteristics of the torus in general. Employing CLUMPY models with mid-infrared spectroscopic observations of a large sample of both Type 1 and Type 2 AGNs allows us to acquire a further understanding of the clumpy torus structure and its viewing angles.

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