The origins of variability in AGN and the AGN-X-ray binary connection

P. Uttley

Variability across all wavebands is a key characteristic of AGN, but its origin is poorly understood. In recent years, extensive long-term monitoring of AGN with RXTE, and intensive `long-looks' with XMM-Newton, have led to the recognition of remarkable similarities between the X-ray variability properties of AGN, and those of Galactic X-ray binary systems on much shorter time-scales. I will explore these similarities, and from them, use results from both X-ray binary and AGN variability studies to suggest a general picture for variability in accreting black holes, which can explain many of the multiwavelength variability properties of AGN.