Detailed Shape and Evolutionary Behavior of the X-Ray Luminosity Function of Active Galactic Nuclei

T. Miyaji, G. Hasinger, M. Salvato, M. Brusa, N. Cappelluti, F. Civano, S. Puccetti, M. Elvis, H. Brunner, S. Fotopoulou, Y. Ueda, R. E. Griffiths, A. M. Koekemoer, M. Akiyama, A. Comastri, R. Gilli, G. Lanzuisi, A. Merloni, C. Vignali

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

85 Citations (Scopus)


We construct the rest-frame 2-10 keV intrinsic X-ray luminosity function (XLF) of active galactic nuclei (AGNs) from a combination of X-ray surveys from the all-sky Swift BAT survey to the Chandra Deep Field South. We use ̃3200 AGNs in our analysis, which covers six orders of magnitude in flux. The inclusion of XMM and Chandra COSMOS data has allowed us to investigate the detailed behavior of the XLF and evolution. In deriving our XLF, we take into account realistic AGN spectrum templates, absorption corrections, and probability density distributions in photometric redshift. We present an analytical expression for the overall behavior of the XLF in terms of the luminosity-dependent density evolution, smoothed two-power-law expressions in 11 redshift shells, three-segment power-law expression of the number density evolution in four luminosity classes, and binned XLF. We observe a sudden flattening of the low luminosity end slope of the XLF slope at z ≳0.6. Detailed structures of the AGN downsizing have also been revealed, where the number density curves have two clear breaks at all luminosity classes above log {{L}X}\gt 43. The two-break structure is suggestive of two-phase AGN evolution, consisting of major merger triggering and secular processes.
Original languageEnglish
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Publication statusPublished - May 2015


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