1 Dark Cosmology Centre, The Niels Bohr Institute, Faculty of Science, Københavns Universitet2 Dark Cosmology Centre, The Niels Bohr Institute, Faculty of Science, Københavns Universitet
An empirical relationship, of particular interest for studies of high redshift active galactic nuclei (AGNs) and quasars, between the masses of their central black-holes and rest-frame ultraviolet (UV) parameters measured in single-epoch AGN spectra is presented. This relationship is calibrated to recently measured reverberation masses of low-redshift AGNs and quasars. An empirical relationship between single-epoch rest-frame optical spectrophotometric measurements and the central masses is also presented. The UV relationship allows reasonable estimates of the central masses to be made of high-redshift AGNs and quasars for which these masses cannot be directly or easily measured by the techniques applicable to the lower luminosity, nearby AGNs. The central mass obtained by this method can be estimated to within a factor of ~3 for most objects. This is reasonable given the intrinsic uncertainty of a factor less than 2 in the primary methods used to measure the central masses of nearby inactive and active galaxies, namely resolved gas and stellar kinematics in the underlying host galaxy and reverberation-mapping techniques. The UV relationship holds good potential for being a powerful tool to study black-hole demographics at high redshift as well as to statistically study the fundamental properties of AGNs. The broad line region size - luminosity relationship is key to the calibrations presented here. The fact that its intrinsic scatter is also the main source of uncertainty in the calibrations stresses the need for better observational constraints to be placed on this relationship. The empirically calibrated relationships presented here will be applied to quasar samples in forthcoming work.