Confirmation of a correlation between the X-ray luminosity and spectral slope of active galactic nuclei in the Chandra Deep Fields

C. Saez, G. Chartas, W. N. Brandt, B. D. Lehmer, F. E. Bauer, X. Dai, G. P. Garmire

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

39 Scopus citations

Abstract

We present results from a statistical analysis of 173 bright radio-quiet active galactic nuclei (AGNs) selected from the Chandra Deep Field-North and Chandra Deep Field-South surveys (hereafter, CDFs) in the redshift range of 0.1 ≲z≲4. We find that the X-ray power-law photon index (Γ) of radio-quiet AGNs is correlated with their 2-10 keV rest-frame X-ray luminosity (LX ) at the >99.5% confidence level in two redshift bins: 0.3 ≲ z ≲ 0.96, and 1.5 ≲ z ≲ 3.3 and is slightly less significant in the redshift bin 0.96 ≲ z ≲ 1.5. The X-ray spectral slope steepens as the X-ray luminosity increases for AGNs in the luminosity range 1042 to 1045 erg s-1. Combining our results from the CDFs with those from previous studies in the redshift range 1.5 ≲ z ≲ 3.3, we find that the Γ-L X correlation has a null-hypothesis probability of 1.6 × 10-9. We investigate the redshift evolution of the correlation between the power-law photon index and the hard X-ray luminosity, and find that the slope and offset of a linear fit to the correlation change significantly (at the > 99.9% confidence level) between redshift bins of 0.3 ≲ z ≲ 0.96 and 1.5 ≲ z ≲ 3.3. We explore physical scenarios explaining the origin of this correlation and its possible evolution with redshift in the context of steady corona models focusing on its dependence on variations of the properties of the hot corona with redshift.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1505-1522
Number of pages18
JournalAstronomical Journal
Volume135
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 1 2008

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Confirmation of a correlation between the X-ray luminosity and spectral slope of active galactic nuclei in the Chandra Deep Fields'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this