© 2016

Observational Constraints on the Influence of Active Galactic Nuclei on the Evolution of Galaxies


Part of the Springer Theses book series (Springer Theses)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xxiii
  2. Christopher Mark Harrison
    Pages 1-35
  3. Christopher Mark Harrison
    Pages 155-158
  4. Christopher Mark Harrison
    Pages 159-174
  5. Back Matter
    Pages 175-193

About this book


This prize-winning Ph.D. thesis by Chris Harrison adopts a multi-faceted approach to address the lack of decisive observational evidence, utilising large observational data sets from several world-leading telescopes. Developing several novel observational techniques, Harrison demonstrated that energetic winds driven by Active Galactic Nuclei (AGN) are found in a large number of galaxies, with properties in agreement with model predictions. One of the key unsolved problems in astrophysics is understanding the influence of AGN, the sites of growing supermassive black holes, on the evolution of galaxies. Leading theoretical models predict that AGN drive energetic winds into galaxies, regulating the formation of stars. However, until now, we have lacked the decisive observational evidence to confirm or refute these key predictions. Careful selection of targets allowed Harrison, to reliably place these detailed observations into the context of the overall galaxy population. However, in disagreement with the model predictions, Harrison showed that AGN have little global effect on star formation in galaxies. Theoretical models are now left with the challenge of explaining these results.


Galaxy evolution AGN Feedback Observations Active Galactic Nuclei IFU Observations of AGN IFU Observations of High-redshift Galaxies Herschel Observations of AGN Super Massive Black Hole Observations Suppression of Star Formation

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.Centre for Extragalactic AstronomyDurham University, Department of PhysicsDurhamUnited Kingdom

About the authors

Chris Harrison completed an undergraduate degree in Astrophysics at Edinburgh University before moving to Durham University for his PhD in 2010. During his PhD he published a number of academic papers, was invited to a speak at international conferences and was awarded telescope time on a variety of facilities as lead investigator. Chris was awarded the Keith Nicolas Prize in 2013 and the Physics Thesis Prize by Durham University in 2014. He now continues  to develop the research presented in his thesis at Durham University as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow. 

Bibliographic information

  • Book Title Observational Constraints on the Influence of Active Galactic Nuclei on the Evolution of Galaxies
  • Authors Christopher Mark Harrison
  • Series Title Springer Theses
  • Series Abbreviated Title Springer Theses
  • DOI
  • Copyright Information Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016
  • Publisher Name Springer, Cham
  • eBook Packages Physics and Astronomy Physics and Astronomy (R0)
  • Hardcover ISBN 978-3-319-28453-8
  • Softcover ISBN 978-3-319-80357-9
  • eBook ISBN 978-3-319-28454-5
  • Series ISSN 2190-5053
  • Series E-ISSN 2190-5061
  • Edition Number 1
  • Number of Pages XXIII, 193
  • Number of Illustrations 40 b/w illustrations, 17 illustrations in colour
  • Topics Astrophysics and Astroparticles
    Astronomy, Observations and Techniques
  • Buy this book on publisher's site


“Harrison’s research aims to increase our understanding of the ways in which accreting black holes can affect their host galaxies, and thus impact galaxy evolution. ... To an interested party starting studies in this field, the book provides a good introduction to one approach that can shed light on this interesting topic.” (Tim Davis, The Observatory, Vol. 137 (1258), June, 2017)