Probing the feeding and feedback of AGN through molecular line maps
Current mm-interferometers can provide a complete view of the distribution and kinematics of molecular gas in the circumnu- clear disks of nearby galaxies. High-resolution CO maps are paramount in order to track down the feeding of active nuclei and quantitatively address the issue of how and for how long nuclear activity can be sustained in galaxies. Going beyond CO map- ping, the use of more specific molecular tracers of dense gas can probe the feedback influence of activity on the chemistry and energy balance/redistribution in the interstellar medium of nearby galaxies, a prerequisite to interpret how feedback may operate at higher redshift galaxies. In this context we present the latest results issued from the NUclei of GAlaxies (NUGA) project, a high-resolution (0.5′′-1′′) CO survey of low luminosity AGNs conducted with the IRAM interferometer. The efficiency of gravity torques as a mechanism to account for the feeding of low luminosity AGNs (LLAGNs) can be analyzed. We discuss an evolutionary scenario in which gravity torques and viscosity act in concert to produce recurrent episodes of activity during the typical lifetime of any galaxy. We also present the results of an ongoing survey allying the IRAM 30m telescope with the Plateau de Bure Interfer- ometer (PdBI), devoted to probe the feedback of activity through the study of the excitation and chemistry of the dense molecular gas in a sample of nearby AGNs and ULIRGs as well as in a prototypical high-redshift QSO.