The thirteen billion year history of the most massive black holes

Super-massive black holes (BHs) that are found in the centers of most galaxies started their growth when the universe was about 300 million years old. Some of these "seed black holes" were probably the remnants of the earliest stars. The largest BHs, that are some 10^10 times more massive than the sun, accumulated most of their mass during the first 3 billion years after the big bang. The less massive ones are still growing today. I will describe a large project that follows BH evolution with emphasis on the z=4.8 universe. This epoch, when the universe was 1.2 Gyr old, represents the fastest growth episode of such objects  and the fastest star formation in their host galaxies. We can combine the two in a way that helps to explain the cosmological evolution of the largest galaxies and the most massive BHs.

10/05/2012 - 14:00
Hagai Netzer
Tel Aviv University