Utilizing 21 new Chandra observations as well as archival Chandra, ROSAT, and XMM-Newton data, we study the X-ray properties of a representative sample of 59 of the most optically luminous quasars in the universe (Mi = -29.3 to -30.2) spanning a redshift range of z =1.5-4.5. Our full sample consists of 32 quasars from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) Data Release 3 (DR3) quasar catalog, two additional objects in the DR3 area that were missed by the SDSS selection criteria, and 25 comparably luminous quasars at z ≥ 4. This is the largest X-ray study of such luminous quasars to date. By jointly fitting the X-ray spectra of our sample quasars, excluding radio-loud and broad absorption line (BAL) objects, we find a mean X-ray power-law photon index of Γ = 1.92+0.09/-0.08 constrain any neutral intrinsic absorbing material to have a mean column density of NH≤ 2 × 1021 cm-2. We find, consistent with other studies, that Γ does not change with redshift, and we constrain the amount of allowed T evolution for the most luminous quasars. Our sample, excluding radio-loud and BAL quasars, has a mean X-ray-to-optical spectral slope of αox = -1.80 ± 0.02, as well as no significant evolution of αox with redshift. We also comment on the X-ray properties of a number of notable quasars, including an X-ray-weak quasar with several strong narrow absorption line systems, a mildly radio-loud BAL quasar, and a well-studied gravitationally lensed quasar.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Astronomy and Astrophysics
- Space and Planetary Science