CTC Seminar for 2023-04-19

Series: CTC Seminar
Date: Wednesday 19-Apr-2023
Time: 11:30-12:30 pm
Location: PSC 1136
Speaker: Jake Bennett (Harvard CfA)
Title: The impact of the first gargantuan black holes on galaxies and their surroundings in the early Universe - insights from cosmological simulations

The characterisation of high-redshift (z >= 6) galaxies with JWST is revolutionising our understanding of the formation of the earliest galaxies. At this epoch, the co-evolution of massive galaxies and their black holes can begin in earnest, and JWST can allow us to study the role that the first quasars have in the formation of their host galaxies and their surroundings.

The largest black hole discovered at z > 6 to date has an inferred mass in excess of 10^10 solar masses, raising questions about both how they reach such a size, and the impact these monsters have on their surroundings at early times. Feedback from early quasars can eject gas from their hosts and heat their surroundings, cutting off inflows and interrupting star formation, which can lead to changes in the structure of the galaxies themselves. Additionally, as the masses inferred from observations have a significant associated uncertainty, it is important to explore how the use of probes of the primordial circumgalactic medium (CGM) could also be used to further constrain early BH growth.

With zoom-in simulations of a massive high-redshift galaxy, we investigate how galaxies are impacted by feedback from the first supermassive black holes. We show how these quasars can drive strong outflows that expel gas far into the CGM, how many early quasars are likely to be obscured for a significant fraction of their history, and how AGN feedback plays a role in clearing the surroundings of BHs for them to be detected in the UV. Furthermore, we investigate the impact of such feedback on the host galaxy itself and find notable differences in the structure and metal content of the stellar population. Many of these results have the potential to be tested with JWST, ALMA, and future X-ray and SZ observations, allowing us to constrain the early growth of high-redshift galaxies.

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Past CTC Lunch seminars.
For other questions, contact the CTC Lunch host: Shmuel Bialy


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