Measuring the Cold Dust Content of Broad and Narrow-Line Optically Luminous QSOs
Andreea Petric



Coevolution of galaxies and their central black holes (BH) has been the central theme of much of recent extragalactic astronomical research. Observations of the dynamics of stars and gas in the nuclear regions of nearby galaxies suggest that the overwhelming majority of spheroidal glaxies in the local Universe contain massive BHs and that, wiht some important caveats, the masses of those central BH correlate with the velocity dispersions of the stars in the sheroid and the bulge luminosities. An impressive body of research has been dedicated to understanding the mechanisms responsible for such a fundamental perhaps causal relation.

An important component pertinent to those investigations is an accurate census of the basic properties of the cold interstellar medium (ISM) in AGN hosts. The motivation for this is that the cold molecular gas is the basic fuel for star-formation and black hole growth. We present high sensitivity observations taken with the Herschel Space Observatory to measure the cold dust content in a sample of 85 nearby (z < 0.5) QSOs chosen from the optically luminous broad-line PG QSOs sample and in a complementary sample of 85 narrow-line QSOs chosen to match the redshift and optical luminosity distribution of the broad-line targets.

The FIR data are combined with near-infrared and mid-infrared measurements from the Two Micron All Sky Survey and the Wide-Field Infrared Survey Explorer to determine their IR spectral energy distributions which we use to assess aggregate dust properties. We estimate dust temperatures that range between ~20 and 70 K with a median temperature of 45 K respectively, and dust masses between 9 104 Msun and 5 108 Msun with a median mass of 3 107 Msun. We investigate the relation between star-formation rates (SFRs) estimated from the IR luminosities and SFRs determined from measurements of the 11.3 micron PAH. We also compare indicators of AGN strength such as the [OIII] 5007 Angstroms and 5100 Angstroms luminosities with the emission from cold dust measured with Herschel and investigate the differences between the global dust properties of broad and narrow line QSOs. The differences between the cold dust properties of narrow and broad line AGN will be discussed in the context of models that envision that quasar activity is triggered by gas-rich galaxy mergers.