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Faint Optically Selected AGN at z = 3


Hunt, Matthew Philip (2004) Faint Optically Selected AGN at z = 3. Dissertation (Ph.D.), California Institute of Technology. doi:10.7907/J5MJ-AP67.


We present the results of two surveys for z ≈ 3 AGN, the Lyman break galaxy (LBG) survey and a new survey based on the same techniques, but over a wider area. These surveys, spanning more than 2 deg², yield 24 new QSOs, and 17 new narrow-lined AGN. The combined data from these surveys span a range of luminosity that is unprecedented at high redshift, covering 6.5 mag of the faint end of the QSO luminosity function. We find a substantially flatter faint-end slope at high redshift than in the local universe, βl=1.20, which has important implications for the study of supermassive black hole (SMBH) accretion and galaxy formation, as well as the state of the IGM at z ≈ 3. We also present estimates of the QSO lifetime (~ 10⁷ yr) and compare our AGN sample with those obtained by deep X-ray imaging. We also present a guide to the reduction of imaging data from the Large Format Camera (LFC) on the Hale Telescope.

Item Type:Thesis (Dissertation (Ph.D.))
Subject Keywords:active galactic nuclei; galaxy formation; luminosity function; qsos; quasars; smbh; supermassive black holes
Degree Grantor:California Institute of Technology
Division:Physics, Mathematics and Astronomy
Major Option:Astrophysics
Thesis Availability:Public (worldwide access)
Research Advisor(s):
  • Steidel, Charles C.
Group:Astronomy Department
Thesis Committee:
  • Blain, Andrew W. (chair)
  • Steidel, Charles C.
  • Scoville, Nicholas Zabriskie
  • Phinney, E. Sterl
  • Sargent, Wallace L. W.
Defense Date:20 May 2004
Record Number:CaltechETD:etd-05122004-113008
Persistent URL:
Hunt, Matthew Philip0000-0001-6920-5563
Default Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:1746
Deposited By: Imported from ETD-db
Deposited On:28 May 2004
Last Modified:20 Jan 2021 23:13

Thesis Files

PDF (hunt_thesis.pdf) - Final Version
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