CTC Seminar for 2024-04-17

Series: CTC Seminar
Date: Wednesday 17-Apr-2024
Time: 11:30-12:30 pm
Location: PSC 1136
Speaker: Sophie Koudmani (University of Cambridge)
Title: Modelling the supermassive black hole-galaxy connection in the multi-messenger era

Abstract: Supermassive black holes (SMBHs) reside at the centres of most massive, if not all, galaxies influencing their host galaxy’s evolution through a complex feedback cycle. Black hole feeding and feedback spans a vast range of spatial scales, from the accretion disc to the cosmic web, so that all past cosmological simulations have had to rely on simple ‘subgrid’ models for SMBH accretion and feedback, significantly limiting their predictive capabilities. Recent observational breakthroughs have challenged these models as the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) has detected significantly more active SMBHs in the early Universe than had been predicted. The recently detected gravitational wave background from SMBH mergers also points to the need for more efficient early SMBH growth. I will delve into the latest theoretical advancements on modelling active galactic nuclei (AGN) feedback from SMBHs in galaxy formation simulations, presenting a novel unified accretion disc model for SMBHs. This model is based on results from the analytical advection-dominated inflow-outflow solution (ADIOS) and state-of-the-art GR(R)MHD simulations. Utilizing the moving mesh code AREPO, we have performed simulations of single and binary SMBHs within gaseous discs to validate our new model and assess its impact. We find that the disc state significantly affects observable luminosities, and we predict markedly different electromagnetic counterparts in SMBH binaries. Crucially, the assumed disc model shapes SMBH spin magnitudes and orientations, parameters that gravitational wave observatories like LISA and IPTA are poised to constrain. Finally, I will discuss implications for cosmological simulations and share some preliminary results on high-redshift AGN parameter explorations in cosmological boxes to explain the origin of the powerful overmassive SMBHs uncovered by JWST.

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Past CTC Lunch seminars.
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