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Brenneman, Laura

Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory staff

My research primarily focuses on understanding high-energy processes at work around supermassive black holes (SMBHs).  For my Ph.D. thesis I created the first publicly accessible model to measure the spins of black holes based on their X-ray "reflection" spectra, and I subsequently made the first measurements of the angular momenta of SMBHs in active galactic nuclei (AGN) using this model.  This subject matter remains a central component of my research at SAO: I investigate black hole spin both observationally and theoretically, working toward an understanding of how AGN and their SMBHs co-evolve through the processes of accretion and energetic outflows. I also have leadership roles in several current, planned and proposed X-ray missions, including XMM-Newton, NuSTAR, XRISM, Athena, Arcus, STROBE-X, HEX-P and Lynx.

Positions

Background And Education

Education And Training

Publications

Selected Publications

  • Article

    • Mehdipour, Missagh, Kriss, Gerard A., Brenneman, Laura W., Costantini, Elisa, Kaastra, Jelle S., Branduardi-Raymont, Graziella, Di Gesu, Laura, Ebrero, Jacobo, and Mao, Junjie. 2022. "Changing-look Event in NGC 3516: Continuum or Obscuration Variability?" The Astrophysical Journal, 925 84. https://doi.org/10.3847/1538-4357/ac42ca. 2022
    • Baloković, Mislav, Cabral, S. E., Brenneman, L., and Urry, C. M. 2021. "Properties of the Obscuring Torus in NGC 1052 from Multiepoch Broadband X-Ray Spectroscopy." The Astrophysical Journal, 90. 916, https://doi.org/10.3847/1538-4357/abff4d. 2021
    • Bambi, Cosimo, Brenneman, Laura W., Dauser, Thomas, García, Javier A., Grinberg, Victoria, Ingram, Adam, Jiang, Jiachen, Liu, Honghui, Lohfink, Anne M., Marinucci, Andrea, Mastroserio, Guglielmo, Middei, Riccardo, Nampalliwar, Sourabh, Niedźwiecki, Andrzej, Steiner, James F., Tripathi, Ashutosh, and Zdziarski, Andrzej A. 2021. "Towards Precision Measurements of Accreting Black Holes Using X-Ray Reflection Spectroscopy." Space Science Reviews, 65. 217, https://doi.org/10.1007/s11214-021-00841-8. 2021
    • Kammoun, E. S., Miller, J. M., Koss, M., Oh, K., Zoghbi, A., Mushotzky, R. F., Barret, D., Behar, E., Brandt, W. N., Brenneman, Laura W., Kaastra, J. S., Lohfink, A. M., Proga, D., and Stern, D. 2020. "A Hard Look at Local, Optically Selected, Obscured Seyfert Galaxies." The Astrophysical Journal 901:161. https://doi.org/10.3847/1538-4357/abb29f 2020
    • Miller, J. M., Zoghbi, A., Raymond, John, Balakrishnan, M., Brenneman, Laura, Cackett, E., Draghis, P., Fabian, A. C., Gallo, E., Kaastra, J., Kallman, T., Kammoun, E., Motta, S. E., Proga, D., Reynolds, M. T., and Trueba, N. 2020. "An Obscured, Seyfert 2-like State of the Stellar-mass Black Hole GRS 1915 105 Caused by Failed Disk Winds." The Astrophysical Journal 904:30. https://doi.org/10.3847/1538-4357/abbb31 2020
    • Kammoun, E. S., Miller, J. M., Zoghbi, A., Oh, K., Koss, M., Mushotzky, R. F., Brenneman, Laura W., Brandt, W. N., Proga, D., Lohfink, A. M., Kaastra, J. S., Barret, D., Behar, E., and Stern, D. 2019. "A Hard Look at NGC 5347: Revealing a Nearby Compton-thick AGN." The Astrophysical Journal 877:102. https://doi.org/10.3847/1538-4357/ab1c5f 2019
    • Paliya, Vaidehi S., Parker, M. L., Jiang, J., Fabian, A. C., Brenneman, Laura, Ajello, M., and Hartmann, D. 2019. "General Physical Properties of Gamma-Ray-emitting Narrow-line Seyfert 1 Galaxies." The Astrophysical Journal 872:169. https://doi.org/10.3847/1538-4357/ab01ce 2019
    • Kammoun, E. S., Nardini, E., Zoghbi, A., Miller, J. M., Cackett, E. M., Gallo, E., Reynolds, M. T., Risaliti, G., Barret, D., Brandt, W. N., Brenneman, L. W., Kaastra, J. S., Koss, M., Lohfink, A. M., Mushotzky, R. F., Raymond, John, and Stern, D. 2019. "The Nature of the Broadband X-Ray Variability in the Dwarf Seyfert Galaxy NGC 4395." The Astrophysical Journal 886:145. https://doi.org/10.3847/1538-4357/ab5110 2019
    • Hitomi Collaboration, Aharonian, Felix, Akamatsu, Hiroki, Akimoto, Fumie, Allen, Steven W., Angelini, Lorella, Audard, Marc, Awaki, Hisamitsu, Axelsson, Magnus, Bamba, Aya, Bautz, Marshall W., Blandford, Roger, Brenneman, Laura W., Brown, Gregory V., Bulbul, Esra, Cackett, Edward M., Chernyakova, Maria, Chiao, Meng P., Coppi, Paolo S., Costantini, Elisa, de Plaa, Jelle, de Vries, Cor P., den Herder, Jan-Willem, Done, Chris, Dotani, Tadayasu et al. 2018. "Detection of polarized gamma-ray emission from the Crab nebula with the Hitomi Soft Gamma-ray Detector." Publications of the Astronomical Society of Japan 70:113. https://doi.org/10.1093/pasj/psy118 2018
    • Tortosa, A., Bianchi, S., Marinucci, A., Matt, G., Middei, R., Piconcelli, E., Brenneman, L. W., Cappi, M., Dadina, M., de Rosa, A., Petrucci, P. O., Ursini, F., and Walton, D. J. 2018. "NuSTAR spectral analysis of two bright Seyfert 1 galaxies: MCG 8-11-11 and NGC 6814." Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society 473:3104-3112. https://doi.org/10.1093/mnras/stx2457 2018
    • Miller, J. M., Cackett, E., Zoghbi, A., Barret, D., Behar, E., Brenneman, L. W., Fabian, A. C., Kaastra, J. S., Lohfink, A., Mushotzky, R. F., Nandra, K., and Raymond, J. 2018. "X-Ray Structure between the Innermost Disk and Optical Broad-line Region in NGC 4151." The Astrophysical Journal 865:97. https://doi.org/10.3847/1538-4357/aadbaa 2018
    • Beuchert, T., Markowitz, A. G., Dauser, T., García, J. A., Keck, M. L., Wilms, J., Kadler, M., Brenneman, L. W., and Zdziarski, A. A. 2017. "A Suzaku, NuSTAR, and XMM-Newton view on variable absorption and relativistic reflection in NGC 4151." Astronomy and Astrophysics 603:A50. https://doi.org/10.1051/0004-6361/201630293 2017
    • Aharonian, F. A., Akamatsu, H., Akimoto, F., Allen, S. W., Angelini, L., Arnaud, K. A., Audard, M., Awaki, H., Axelsson, M., Bamba, A., Bautz, M. W., Blandford, R. D., Bulbul, E., Brenneman, L. W., Brown, G. V., Cackett, E. M., Chernyakova, M., Chiao, M. P., Coppi, P., Costantini, E., de Plaa, J., den Herder, J. -W, Done, C., Dotani, T., Ebisawa, K. et al. 2017. "Hitomi Constraints on the 3.5 keV Line in the Perseus Galaxy Cluster." The Astrophysical Journal Letters, 837, L15. , https://doi.org/10.3847/2041-8213/aa61fa. 2017
    • Steiner, James F., García, Javier A., Eikmann, Wiebke, McClintock, Jeffrey E., Brenneman, Laura W., Dauser, Thomas, and Fabian, Andrew C. 2017. "Self-consistent Black Hole Accretion Spectral Models and the Forgotten Role of Coronal Comptonization of Reflection Emission." The Astrophysical Journal 836:119. https://doi.org/10.3847/1538-4357/836/1/119 2017
    • Hitomi Collaboration, Aharonian, Felix, Akamatsu, Hiroki, Akimoto, Fumie, Allen, Steven W., Anabuki, Naohisa, Angelini, Lorella, Arnaud, Keith, Audard, Marc, Awaki, Hisamitsu, Axelsson, Magnus, Bamba, Aya, Bautz, Marshall, Blandford, Roger, Brenneman, Laura, Brown, Gregory V., Bulbul, Esra, Cackett, Edward, Chernyakova, Maria, Chiao, Meng, Coppi, Paolo, Costantini, Elisa, de Plaa, Jelle, den Herder, Jan-Willem, Done, Chris et al. 2016. "The quiescent intracluster medium in the core of the Perseus cluster." Nature 535:117-121. https://doi.org/10.1038/nature18627 2016
    • Madsen, Kristin K., Fürst, Felix, Walton, Dominic J., Harrison, Fiona A., Nalewajko, Krzysztof, Ballantyne, David R., Boggs, Steve E., Brenneman, Laura W., Christensen, Finn E., Craig, William W., Fabian, Andrew C., Forster, Karl, Grefenstette, Brian W., Guainazzi, Matteo, Hailey, Charles J., Madejski, Greg M., Matt, Giorgio, Stern, Daniel, Walter, Roland, and Zhang, William W. 2015. "3C 273 with NuSTAR: Unveiling the Active Galactic Nucleus." The Astrophysical Journal 812:14. https://doi.org/10.1088/0004-637X/812/1/14 2015
    • Keck, M. L., Brenneman, L. W., Ballantyne, D. R., Bauer, F., Boggs, S. E., Christensen, F. E., Craig, W. W., Dauser, T., Elvis, M., Fabian, A. C., Fuerst, F., García, J., Grefenstette, B. W., Hailey, C. J., Harrison, F. A., Madejski, G., Marinucci, A., Matt, G., Reynolds, C. S., Stern, D., Walton, D. J., and Zoghbi, A. 2015. "NuSTAR and Suzaku X-Ray Spectroscopy of NGC 4151: Evidence for Reflection from the Inner Accretion Disk." The Astrophysical Journal 806:149. https://doi.org/10.1088/0004-637X/806/2/149 2015
    • Parker, M. L., Fabian, A. C., Matt, G., Koljonen, K. I. I., Kara, E., Alston, W., Walton, D. J., Marinucci, A., Brenneman, L., and Risaliti, G. 2015. "Revealing the X-ray variability of AGN with principal component analysis." Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society 447:72-96. https://doi.org/10.1093/mnras/stu2424 2015
    • Rivers, E., Risaliti, G., Walton, D. J., Harrison, F., Arévalo, P., Baur, F. E., Boggs, S. E., Brenneman, L. W., Brightman, M., Christensen, F. E., Craig, W. W., Fürst, F., Hailey, C. J., Hickox, R. C., Marinucci, A., Reeves, J., Stern, D., and Zhang, W. W. 2015. "The Multi-layer Variable Absorbers in NGC 1365 Revealed by XMM-Newton and NuSTAR." The Astrophysical Journal 804:107. https://doi.org/10.1088/0004-637X/804/2/107 2015
    • García, J., Dauser, T., Lohfink, A., Kallman, T. R., Steiner, J. F., McClintock, J. E., Brenneman, L., Wilms, J., Eikmann, W., Reynolds, C. S., and Tombesi, F. 2014. "Improved Reflection Models of Black Hole Accretion Disks: Treating the Angular Distribution of X- Rays." The Astrophysical Journal 782:76. https://doi.org/10.1088/0004-637X/782/2/76 2014
    • Brenneman, L. W., Madejski, G., Fuerst, F., Matt, G., Elvis, M., Harrison, F. A., Ballantyne, D. R., Boggs, S. E., Christensen, F. E., Craig, W. W., Fabian, A. C., Grefenstette, B. W., Hailey, C. J., Madsen, K. K., Marinucci, A., Rivers, E., Stern, D., Walton, D. J., and Zhang, W. W. 2014. "Measuring the Coronal Properties of IC 4329A with NuSTAR." The Astrophysical Journal 781:83. https://doi.org/10.1088/0004-637X/781/2/83 2014
    • Ballantyne, D. R., Bollenbacher, J. M., Brenneman, L. W., Madsen, K. K., Baloković, Mislav, Boggs, S. E., Christensen, F. E., Craig, W. W., Gandhi, P., Hailey, C. J., Harrison, F. A., Lohfink, A. M., Marinucci, A., Markwardt, C. B., Stern, D., Walton, D. J., and Zhang, W. W. 2014. "NuSTAR Reveals the Comptonizing Corona of the Broad-line Radio Galaxy 3C 382." The Astrophysical Journal 794:62. https://doi.org/10.1088/0004-637X/794/1/62 2014
    • Walton, D. J., Risaliti, G., Harrison, F. A., Fabian, A. C., Miller, J. M., Arevalo, P., Ballantyne, D. R., Boggs, S. E., Brenneman, L. W., Christensen, F. E., Craig, W. W., Elvis, M., Fuerst, F., Gandhi, P., Grefenstette, B. W., Hailey, C. J., Kara, E., Luo, B., Madsen, K. K., Marinucci, A., Matt, G., Parker, M. L., Reynolds, C. S., Rivers, E., Ross, R. R. et al. 2014. "NuSTAR and XMM-NEWTON Observations of NGC 1365: Extreme Absorption Variability and a Constant Inner Accretion Disk." The Astrophysical Journal 788:76. https://doi.org/10.1088/0004-637X/788/1/76 2014
    • Parker, M. L., Marinucci, A., Brenneman, L., Fabian, A. C., Kara, E., Matt, G., and Walton, D. J. 2014. "Principal component analysis of MCG-06-30-15 with XMM-Newton." Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society 437:721-729. https://doi.org/10.1093/mnras/stt1925 2014
    • Marinucci, A., Matt, G., Kara, E., Miniutti, G., Elvis, M., Arevalo, P., Ballantyne, D. R., Baloković, Mislav, Bauer, F., Brenneman, L., Boggs, S. E., Cappi, M., Christensen, F. E., Craig, W. W., Fabian, A. C., Fuerst, F., Hailey, C. J., Harrison, F. A., Risaliti, G., Reynolds, C. S., Stern, D. K., Walton, D. J., and Zhang, W. 2014. "Simultaneous NuSTAR and XMM-Newton 0.5-80 keV spectroscopy of the narrow-line Seyfert 1 galaxy SWIFT J2127.4 5654." Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society 440:2347-2356. https://doi.org/10.1093/mnras/stu404 2014
    • Brenneman, L. W., Madejski, G., Fuerst, F., Matt, G., Elvis, M., Harrison, F. A., Ballantyne, D. R., Boggs, S. E., Christensen, F. E., Craig, W. W., Fabian, A. C., Grefenstette, B. W., Hailey, C. J., Madsen, K. K., Marinucci, A., Rivers, E., Stern, D., Walton, D. J., and Zhang, W. W. 2014. "The Broad-band X-Ray Spectrum of IC 4329A from a Joint NuSTAR/Suzaku Observation." The Astrophysical Journal 788:61. https://doi.org/10.1088/0004-637X/788/1/61 2014
    • Marinucci, A., Matt, G., Miniutti, G., Guainazzi, M., Parker, M. L., Brenneman, L., Fabian, A. C., Kara, E., Arevalo, P., Ballantyne, D. R., Boggs, S. E., Cappi, M., Christensen, F. E., Craig, W. W., Elvis, M., Hailey, C. J., Harrison, F. A., Reynolds, C. S., Risaliti, G., Stern, D. K., Walton, D. J., and Zhang, W. 2014. "The Broadband Spectral Variability of MCG-6-30-15 Observed by NuSTAR and XMM-Newton." The Astrophysical Journal 787:83. https://doi.org/10.1088/0004-637X/787/1/83 2014
    • Parker, M. L., Wilkins, D. R., Fabian, A. C., Grupe, D., Dauser, T., Matt, G., Harrison, F. A., Brenneman, L., Boggs, S. E., Christensen, F. E., Craig, W. W., Gallo, L. C., Hailey, C. J., Kara, E., Komossa, S., Marinucci, A., Miller, J. M., Risaliti, G., Stern, D., Walton, D. J., and Zhang, W. W. 2014. "The NuSTAR spectrum of Mrk 335: extreme relativistic effects within two gravitational radii of the event horizon?." Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society 443:1723-1732. https://doi.org/10.1093/mnras/stu1246 2014
    • Kara, E., Fabian, A. C., Marinucci, A., Matt, G., Parker, M. L., Alston, W., Brenneman, L. W., Cackett, E. M., and Miniutti, G. 2014. "The changing X-ray time lag in MCG-6-30-15." Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society 445:56-65. https://doi.org/10.1093/mnras/stu1750 2014
    • Matt, G., Marinucci, A., Guainazzi, M., Brenneman, L. W., Elvis, M., Lohfink, A., Arèvalo, P., Boggs, S. E., Cappi, M., Christensen, F. E., Craig, W. W., Fabian, A. C., Fuerst, F., Hailey, C. J., Harrison, F. A., Parker, M., Reynolds, C. S., Stern, D., Walton, D. J., and Zhang, W. W. 2014. "The soft-X-ray emission of Ark 120. XMM-Newton, NuSTAR, and the importance of taking the broad view." Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society 439:3016-3021. https://doi.org/10.1093/mnras/stu159 2014
    • Lohfink, Anne M., Reynolds, Christopher S., Jorstad, Svetlana G., Marscher, Alan P., Miller, Eric D., Aller, Hugh, Aller, Margo F., Brenneman, Laura W., Fabian, Andrew C., Miller, Jon M., Mushotzky, Richard F., Nowak, Michael A., and Tombesi, Francesco. 2013. "An X-Ray View of the Jet Cycle in the Radio-loud AGN 3C120." The Astrophysical Journal 772:83. https://doi.org/10.1088/0004-637X/772/2/83 2013
    • Brenneman, L. W., Risaliti, G., Elvis, M., and Nardini, E. 2013. "An examination of the spectral variability in NGC 1365 with Suzaku." Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society 429:2662-2676. https://doi.org/10.1093/mnras/sts555 2013
    • Dauser, T., Garcia, J., Wilms, J., Böck, M., Brenneman, L. W., Falanga, M., Fukumura, K., and Reynolds, C. S. 2013. "Irradiation of an accretion disc by a jet: general properties and implications for spin measurements of black holes." Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society 430:1694-1708. https://doi.org/10.1093/mnras/sts710 2013
    • Harrison, Fiona A., Craig, William W., Christensen, Finn E., Hailey, Charles J., Zhang, William W., Boggs, Steven E., Stern, Daniel, Cook, W. Rick, Forster, Karl, Giommi, Paolo, Grefenstette, Brian W., Kim, Yunjin, Kitaguchi, Takao, Koglin, Jason E., Madsen, Kristin K., Mao, Peter H., Miyasaka, Hiromasa, Mori, Kaya, Perri, Matteo, Pivovaroff, Michael J., Puccetti, Simonetta, Rana, Vikram R., Westergaard, Niels J., Willis, Jason, Zoglauer, Andreas et al. 2013. "The Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array (NuSTAR) High-energy X-Ray Mission." The Astrophysical Journal 770:103. https://doi.org/10.1088/0004-637X/770/2/103 2013
    • Reynolds, Christopher S., Brenneman, Laura W., Lohfink, Anne M., Trippe, Margaret L., Miller, Jon M., Fabian, Andrew C., and Nowak, Michael A. 2012. "A Monte Carlo Markov Chain Based Investigation of Black Hole Spin in the Active Galaxy NGC 3783." The Astrophysical Journal, 755 88. https://doi.org/10.1088/0004-637X/755/2/88. 2012
    • Steiner, James F., Reis, Rubens C., Fabian, Andrew C., Remillard, Ronald A., McClintock, Jeffrey E., Gou, Lijun, Cooke, Ryan, Brenneman, Laura W., and Sanders, Jeremy S. 2012. "A broad iron line in LMC X-1." Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society 427:2552-2561. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2966.2012.22128.x 2012
    • Brenneman, L. W., Elvis, Martin S., Krongold, Y., Liu, Y., and Mathur, S. 2012. "NGC 5548: Lack of a Broad Fe Ka Line and Constraints on the Location of the Hard X-Ray Source." The Astrophysical Journal 744 (1):https://doi.org/10.1088/0004-637X/744/1/13 2012
    • Lohfink, Anne M., Reynolds, Christopher S., Miller, Jon M., Brenneman, Laura W., Mushotzky, Richard F., Nowak, Michael A., and Fabian, Andrew C. 2012. "The Black Hole Spin and Soft X-Ray Excess of the Luminous Seyfert Galaxy Fairall 9." The Astrophysical Journal 758:67. https://doi.org/10.1088/0004-637X/758/1/67 2012
    • Gallo, L. C., Miniutti, G., Miller, J. M., Brenneman, L. W., Fabian, A. C., Guainazzi, M., and Reynolds, C. S. 2011. "Multi-epoch X-ray observations of the Seyfert 1.2 galaxy Mrk 79: bulk motion of the illuminating X-ray source." Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society 411 (1):607-619. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2966.2010.17705.x 2011
    • Risaliti, G., Nardini, E., Elvis, M., Brenneman, L., and Salvati, M. 2011. "Probing general relativistic effects during active galactic nuclei X-ray eclipses." Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society 417:178-183. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2966.2011.19055.x 2011
    • Brenneman, L. W., Reynolds, C. S., Nowak, M. A., Reis, R. C., Trippe, M., Fabiana, A. C., Iwasawa, K., Lee, J. C., Miller, J. M., Mushotzky, R. F., Nandra, K., and Volonteri, M. 2011. "The Spin of the Supermassive Black Hole in NGC 3783." The Astrophysical Journal 736:103. https://doi.org/10.1088/0004-637X/736/2/103 2011

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