Testing the Twisted Torus Model of Quasar Obscuration

Martin Elvis, M. Rose, A. Lawrence, I. Roseboom

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstractpeer-review


The Unified Scheme of AGNs uses a cold, thick torus to block our view of the nucleus from most directions. This is a theoretically implausible structure, even if clumpy. An alternative structure, which arises naturally in some scenarios for feeding supermassive black holes, is a "twisted torus", a warped thin dusty disk (Lawrence and Elvis 2010). Roseboom et al. (2013) found that this model predicted the correct, wide, distribution of hot dust covering factors for SDSS type 1 (broad-line) quasars (mean ~0.35, sigma ~0.2). Here we report the spectral energy distributions (from tahe WISE, UKIDSS/2MASS, SDSS surveys) for ~200 type 2 SDSS quasars with 0.3 <z <0.83 from Reyes et al. (2008), with luminosities 8.3 <log L([OIII]) <10. The twisted torus model predicts a higher average covering factor 0.65) for these objects than for a matched sample of type 1 quasars. We will present our results on this strong test of the twisted torus model.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2014


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