Laura E. Kay
Telephone: (212) 854-7303
Fax: (212) 854-8121
- Active Galaxies (Seyferts, Radio Galaxies)
and other Accretion Powered Compact Objects
- Spectropolarimetry, Polarimetric Instrumentation
My main interest has been the study of Active Galactic Nuclei through
spectropolarimetry, an observational technique which allows us to study the
spectra and the polarization of an object simultaneously. Polarizations may
arise from intrinsic emission processes, or reflection by or transmission
through dust grains, or scattering by electrons, or a combination of these
effects. The wavelength dependence of the polarization is different for many
of these processes; thus spectropolarimetry can yield clues as to the
polarigenic origin. By identifying regions of polarized light,
spectropolarimetry can tell us information about the kinematics, geometry,
and spatial distribution of gas and/or dust in an extended object, and about
the continuum emission processes.
Recent projects have included
spectropolarimetry of luminous IRAS AGN which are also Xray sources, and of
radio galaxies with double peaked emission lines. I have been obtaining
optical data with an experimental spectropolarimeter used with
the RC spectrograph on the 4m telescope at CTIO, and also from Lick Observatory.
I have used HST in collaboration with R Cohen to study Seyfert galaxies
spectropolarimetrically in the UV, and am presently
using HST to conduct polarimetric imaging observations of the inner regions
of Seyfert galaxies.
I am also
using X-ray data to study orientation and obscuration effects in AGN.
Spring 2016 Teaching:
Fall 2016 Teaching:
Life in the Universe - ASTR BC 1753y
|| Chair, Dept. of Physics
and Astronomy, Barnard College, Columbia University. |
|| Ann Whitney Olin Professor, Barnard College, Columbia University |
|| Interim Assoc. Dean for Curriculum and Faculty Governance, Barnard College, Columbia Univ. |
|| Professor, Barnard College, Columbia University |
Chair, Dept. of Women's
Studies, Barnard College, Columbia University.
Chair, Dept. of Physics
and Astronomy, Barnard College, Columbia University.
Associate Professor, Dept. of Physics and Astronomy, Barnard College
Assistant Professor, Dept. of Physics and Astronomy, Barnard College
Visiting Researcher, CTIO, La Serena, Chile
NSF Intl. Research Fellow, Instituto Astronomico e Geofisico,
Univ. São Paulo, Brazil
ASEE/NASA Summer Faculty Fellow, NASA Ames Research Center
Upper Atmosphere Physicist, Bartol Research Foundation, South Pole, Antarctica
PhD, University of California, Santa Cruz (Astronomy and Astrophysics)
M.S., University of California, Santa Cruz (Astronomy and Astrophysics)
BS, AB, Stanford University (Physics and Feminist Studies)
Eclipse in Rapa Nui, 2010
Eclipse in Zambia, 2001
21 Century Astronomy, 4e, 5e textbook for Intro. Astronomy. L. Kay, S. Palen,
B. Smith, & G. Blumenthal (NY: WW Norton, 2013, 2016)
Understanding Our Universe Briefer (1 semester) textbook for Intro. Astronomy.
S. Palen, L. Kay, B. Smith, & G. Blumenthal, (NY: WW Norton, 2012, 2015)
21 Century Astronomy, 3e,
J. Hester, B. Smith, G. Blumenthal, L. Kay, & H. Voss, (NY: WW Norton, 2010)
``Gender on Ice'' , special issue of The Scholar & Feminist Online,
(for IPY), guest co-editor, Issue 7.1, (Fall 2008)
``Transient and Highly Polarized Double-Peaked H-alpha Emission in the Seyfert 2 Nucleus of NGC 2110''
E. C. Moran, A. J. Barth, M. Eracleous and L. E Kay.
ApJ, 668, L000, (2007)
``"Hidden" Seyfert 2 Galaxies in the Chandra Deep Field North''
C. Cardomone, E. C. Moran, and L. E. Kay.
AJ, 134, 1263, (2007)
``Ultraviolet Imaging Polarimetry of the Peculiar Seyfert 2 Galaxy Mrk 477''
M. Kishimoto, L. E. Kay, R. Antonucci, T. Hurt, R. Cohen, and J. Krolik.
ApJ, 567, 790, (2002)
``Ultraviolet Imaging Polarimetry of the Seyfert 2 Galaxy Markarian 3''
, M. Kishimoto, L. E. Kay, R. Antonucci, T. Hurt, R. Cohen, and J. Krolik.
ApJ, 565, 155, (2002)
``A Composite Seyfert 2 X-Ray Spectrum: Implications for the Origin of the Cosmic X-ray Background''
, E. C. Moran, L. E. Kay, M. Davis, A. V. Filippenko, and A. J. Barth.
ApJ, 556, L75, (2001).
``The Frequency of Polarized Broad Emission Lines in Type 2 Seyfert Galaxies''
, E. C. Moran, A. J. Barth, L. E. Kay, and A. V. Filippenko,
ApJ, 540, L73, (2000).
``Spectropolarimetry of the Luminous Narrow-Line Seyfert Galaxies
IRAS 20181-2244 and IRAS 13224-3809'', L. Kay, M. Magalhães, F. Elizalde,
and C. Rodrigues, ApJ, 518, 219, (1999).
``Spectropolarimetry of Radio-Loud AGNs With Double Peaked
Emission Lines'', L. Kay, M. Eracleous, E. Moran, M. Magalhães, and J. Halpern.
in Structure and Kinematics of Quasar Broad Line Regions , ed.
C. M. Gaskell et al, (SF:ASP), vol 175, (1999), 205-211.
``The X-ray Spectra and Spectral Variability of Intermediate Type Seyfert
Galaxies: ASCA Observations of NGC 4388 and ESO 103-G35'',
K. Forster, K. Leighly, and L. Kay. ApJ, 523, 521, (1999).
``A Hidden Broad-Line Region in the Weak Seyfert 2 Galaxy NGC 788'',
L. Kay and E. Moran, PASP, 110, 1003 (1998)
J. Halpern, L. Kay, and K. Leighly. IAUC, 7027 (1998)
``Supernova 1998bw in ESO 184-G82'',
L. Kay, J. Halpern, K. Leighly, S. Heathcote, A. M. Magalhães, and
A. Filippenko. IAUC, 6969 (1998)
``The Optical Polarization and Warm Absorber in IRAS 17020+4544'',
K. Leighly, L. Kay, B. Wills, D. Wills, and D. Grupe. Ap. J. 489, L137 (1997)
Spectropolarimetry of Seyfert 2 Galaxies'',
L. Kay, Ap. J., 430, 196 (1994).
``Detection of Obscured Broad Line Regions in Four Seyfert 2
Galaxies'', H.D. Tran, J.S. Miller, and L. Kay, Ap. J., 397, 452