Active Galactic Nuclei: What's in a name?

June 27 - July 1, 2016   ESO, Garching bei München, Germany

Conference website:
Conference email: agn2016 [at] eso [dot] org

Active Galactic Nuclei (AGN) are being discovered in ever-larger numbers over the whole electromagnetic spectrum. Different bands employ different methods to identify these sources but, most importantly, provide different windows on AGN physics. The infrared band is mostly sensitive to obscuring material and dust, the optical/UV band is related to emission from the accretion disk, while the X-ray band traces the emission of a (putative) corona. γ-ray and (high flux density) radio samples, on the other hand, preferentially select AGN emitting strong non-thermal radiation. This has led to a proliferation of classes, which outsiders (but insiders as well!) find mesmerizing. The main goal of the Workshop is to paint the AGN "big picture", which comes out of these multi-wavelength surveys, and understand the truly intrinsic and fundamental properties of AGN and the physics behind them. This will be done by discussing primarily these topics:

  • the different types of AGN selected in the various bands
  • the similarities/differences they display
  • the impact of selection effects on the interpretation of the results
  • the physical mechanism(s) behind emission in a given band
  • the effective range of black hole mass and Eddington ratio probed by a given selection method
  • the possible limitations of current observations and/or facilities
  • the "big picture" of AGN

All of the above will be achieved by having a truly multi-wavelength Workshop consisting of review and contributed talks distributed over six sessions: radio, infrared, optical, X-ray, γ-ray, and variability.

Review speakers: Vernesa Smolcic, Roberto Assef, Gordon Richards, Dave Alexander, Paolo Giommi, Barbara De Marco, and Phil Hopkins.


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