Department of Physics and Astronomy: Publications and Other Research


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Preprint from 29 May 1996, archived at Published in Jets from Stars and Galaxies, ed. W. Kundt (Berlin: Springer), p. 165 (1996)


Some quasars show Doppler shifted broad emission line peaks. I give new statistics of the occurrence of these peaks and show that, while the most spectacular cases are in quasars with strong jets inclined to the line of sight, they are also almost as common in radio-quiet quasars. Theories of the origin of the peaks are reviewed and it is argued that the displaced peaks are most likely produced by supermassive binaries. 3C 390.3 shows precisely the change in radial velocity predicted by the supermassive binary model. The separations of the peaks in 3C 390.3-type objects are consistent with orientation-dependent “unified models” of quasar activity. If the supermassive binary model is correct, all members of “the jet set” (astrophysical objects showing jets) could be binaries.

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