Department of Physics, Engineering Physics & Astronomy

Department of Physics, Engineering Physics & Astronomy
Department of Physics, Engineering Physics & Astronomy

Supermassive Black Holes

Joe MacMillan
Department of Physics, Queen's University

Monday, November 11, 2002
1:30 PM @ Stirling A

Abstract:

A supermassive black hole is now believed to exist at the centre of most galaxies, including our own. Furthermore, the mass of the central black hole correlates with observational properties of the galaxy's bulge component. However, there are many unanswered questions concerning the formation and evolution of the black hole and surrounding system. After giving a general introduction, I will discuss how a "seed" black hole could grow to supermassive size, and how this growth will modify the host galaxy. Although this so-called adiabatic model explains many observational properties, it does not explain a key relation between the black hole mass and the velocity dispersion in the galactic bulge. I will therefore introduce a new model, which assumes that the black hole and galaxy form simultaneously, and which naturally explains this correlation.