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Australian Human Resources Institute Diversity Awards 2013 Finalist

David Floyd, Univ.Melbourne ()

"Quasars from kiloparsec to parsec scales"

Abstract. I present a novel method of constraining AGN emission region size and emission mechanism, using recent optical--NIR imaging from the Magellan telescopes of four ``anomalous'' lensed quasars.Anomalous lensed quasars have an image pair in which one of the images is unusually ("anomalously") dim. We rule out millilensing and partial obscuration as causes for the anomalous flux ratio in each of our quasars, leaving microlensing as the only plausible alternative. We generate magnification maps for each image using a range of smooth-to-clumpy matter fractions. We then randomly select source positions on the map and calculate the magnifications of a set of Gaussian sources of varying width. We are thus able to constrain statistically, both the proportion of smooth-to-clumpy lensing material, and the size of the emitting region of the lensed source.Using this technique we have probed down to unprecedented scale lengths in the central engine (< 7 light days in r' band) and have begun to explore the change with wavelength. We find clear evidence of a decrease in source size with wavelength, and can place meaningful constraints on possible emission mechanism.

Held in the AAO Conference room at 03:30 PM on Thursday, 04 March 2010