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Variability of the central region in active galactic nuclei

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Summary

We review implications of the observed optical and X-ray variability (periodicities and light-curves), relevant for the understanding of physical conditions in the deep interiors of active galactic nuclei. We discuss in detail kinematical, hydrodynamical, thermal and radiative transfer effects which may be responsible for observed variability patterns. We put emphasis on theoretical options which can predict basic accretion parameters, such as the mass of the central black hole, the accretion rate and the inclination angle, in terms of observable quantities. Closed analytical results are given whenever available.

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Correspondence to F. H. Wallinder.

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Wallinder, F.H., Kato, S. & Abramowicz, M.A. Variability of the central region in active galactic nuclei. The Astron Astrophys Rev 4, 79–122 (1992). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00874054

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Key words

  • Accretion
  • Accretion disks
  • Black hole physics
  • Hydrodynamics
  • Instabilities
  • Galaxies: active
  • Galaxies: nuclei