The Shape of the Blue/UV Continuum of B3-VLA Radio Quasars
We present some results based on optical photometry of an unbiased subsample of 64 sources, from a sample of radio quasars 80 per cent complete. The quasars (z=0.4-2.8) show approximately a similar spectral energy distribution (SED). Only two quasars appear clearly differenciated, exhibiting redder colours than the rest, and they have low or moderate redshifts (z=0.50 and 1.12). Composite broad-band spectra for the remaining 62 quasars reveal the presence of a break in the SED at ˜ 3000 Å, where the average slope α (defined by Sν ∝ να) changes from αblue=0.11±0.16 at λ>3000 Å to αUV=-0.66±0.15 at λ<3000 Å. Composite spectra from a low and a high redshift subsample, with the redshift separation at the median value z=1.2, yields αUV=-0.87±0.20, for z<1.2 and αUV=-0.48±0.12 for z>1.2 and the difference is 98 per cent significant. This trend could be intrinsic or could arise from a dependence between αUV and the blue/UV luminosity, since the three quantities αUV - Lblue/UV - z are correlated. Finally, an intrinsic correlation is found between blue/UV and radio luminosity.