We present a new approach for calculating the physical properties of highly ionized X-ray flows in active galactic nuclei. Our method relies on a detailed treatment of the structure, dynamics, and spectrum of the gas. A quantitative comparison of our model predictions with the 900 ks Chandra HETG X-ray spectrum of NGC 3783 shows the following: (1) The highly ionized outflow is driven by thermal pressure gradients, and radiation pressure force is less important. (2) A full-featured dynamical model that provides a very good fit to the high-resolution X-ray spectrum requires a multiphased flow with a density power spectrum reminiscent of the interstellar medium. (3) Adiabatic cooling is an important factor, and so is an additional heating source that may be related to the apparent multiphase and turbulent nature of the flow. (4) The base of the flow is ∼ 1 pc from the central object, in agreement with some, but not all, previous estimates. (5) The mass-loss rate is in the range 0.01-0.1 M⊙ yr-1, which is smaller than previous estimates and is on the same order as the mass accretion rate in this object.
- Acceleration of particles
- Galaxies: Seyfert
- ISM: jets and outflows
- Quasars: absorption lines
- X-rays: individual (NGC 3783)