T.K. Menon -- Research Interests

My present interests are in the general area of the structure and evolution of radio galaxies and quasars. Ever since the first identification of a radio galaxy by Baade and Minkowski almost 40 years ago, the concept of interactions has played an important part in attempts to understand the origin of radio galaxies and quasars. In general such studies have been confined to objects which show obvious signs of interaction. However we do not know whether interactions are involved in the origin of all radio galaxies and quasars. My recent interest has been in the study of the role of environment in the origin of radio galaxies. For this purpose I have been studying the radio properties of over 400 galaxies within the Compact Galaxy Groups of Hickson using the Very Large Array in New Mexico. This data are being analysed to answer the following questions:

  1. Does the membership in a group influence the probability of a galaxy being a radio source?
  2. Do galaxies of different morphological types behave differently during interactions within groups?
  3. Does the local galaxy density influence the radio properties?
  4. How do radio luminosity functions of group galaxies compare with that of isolated galaxies of similar morphological type?.
The results are beginning to provide statistical and structural information about the role of environment in the origin of radio galaxies.