Dec 13 – 18, 2015
International Conference Centre Geneva
Europe/Zurich timezone

Direct formation of supermassive black holes; from mergers of protogalaxies to global relativistic collapse

Dec 15, 2015, 5:00 PM
Level -1, Room 17 (International Conference Centre Geneva)

Level -1, Room 17

International Conference Centre Geneva


Prof. Lucio Mayer (University of Zurich)


We present the latest developments of the merger-driven scenario for supermassive black hole formation originally developed in Mayer et al. (2010, Nature, 466. 1082). We show how including realistic radiation physics in mergers of protogalaxies driven from cosmological initial conditions strengthens the proposal that supermassive nuclear clouds may form in only a few 10^8 yr in the nucleus of the remnant, as a result of supersonic turbulence hampering fragmentation and normal star formation even in the presence of metal-enriched gas. The billion solar mass clouds can lead to a supermassive star, which can rapidly produce a massive black hole seed (M_BH > 10^5 Mo), or can undergo a "dark collapse" all the way into a supermassive black hole via the relativistic radial instability depending on the residual angular momentum (Mayer et al. 2015, ApJ, in press). Both scenarios explain naturally the rapid emergence of high-z QSOs at z > 6. Finally, unprecedented 3D computations joining for the first time galaxy formation simulations in a cosmological context with relativistic hydro calculations of supermassive cloud collapse, including even the effect of nuclear burning in metal-enriched gas, will be presented and the preliminary results discussed in light of the "dark collapse" scenario.
Collaboration Lucio Mayer, Davide Fiacconi (University of Zurich), Pedro Montero (MPA Garching)

Primary author

Prof. Lucio Mayer (University of Zurich)

Presentation materials