Physics and Astronomy Publications
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We examine the UV/X-ray properties of 1378 quasars in order to link empirical correlations to theoretical models of the physical mechanisms dominating quasars as a function of mass and accretion rate. The clarity of these correlations is improved when (1) using C iv broad emission line equivalent width (EQW) and blueshift (relative to systemic) values calculated from high signal-to-noise ratio reconstructions of optical/UV spectra and (2) removing quasars expected to be absorbed based on their UV/X-ray spectral slopes. In addition to using the traditional C iv parameter space measures of C iv EQW and blueshift, we define a “C iv ∥ distance” along a best-fit polynomial curve that incorporates information from both C iv parameters. We find that the C iv ∥ distance is linearly correlated with both the optical-to-X-ray slope, α ox, and broad-line He ii EQW, which are known spectral energy distribution indicators, but does not require X-ray or high spectral resolution UV observations to compute. The C iv ∥ distance may be a better indicator of the mass-weighted accretion rate, parameterized by L/L Edd, than the C iv EQW or blueshift alone, as those relationships are known to break down at the extrema. Conversely, there is only a weak correlation with the X-ray energy index (Γ), an alternate L/L Edd indicator. We find no X-ray or optical trends in the direction perpendicular to the C iv distance that could be used to reveal differences in accretion disk, wind, or corona structure that could be widening the C iv EQW-blueshift distribution. A different parameter (such as metallicity) not traced by these data must come into play.
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