Masses of black holes in active galactic nuclei

Bradley M. Peterson, Catherine J. Grier

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


The masses of the central black holes have been measured for nearly 50 AGNs by using emissionline reverberation mapping. We briefly outline the process by which this is done and discuss the evidence about how reliable the derived masses might be. We outline how reverberation mapping underpins the mass estimates for all AGNs, including high-redshift quasars, and point out that the mass estimates are based on reasonable, yet unproven, assumptions. Finally, we briefly discuss results on reverberation velocity-delay maps that are revealing the kinematics of the broad-line region and yielding direct measurements of black hole masses.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number030
JournalProceedings of Science
StatePublished - 2012
Externally publishedYes
Event2012 Nuclei of Seyfert Galaxies and QSOs - Central Engine and Conditions of Star Formation, Seyfert 2012 - Bonn, Germany
Duration: Nov 6 2012Nov 8 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


Dive into the research topics of 'Masses of black holes in active galactic nuclei'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this