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The First Massive Black Hole Seeds and Their Hosts

By Jillian Bellovary, Marta Volonteri, Fabio Governato, Sijing Shen, Thomas Quinn and James Wadsley


We investigate the formation of the first massive black holes (MBHs) in high redshift galaxies, with the goal of providing insights to which galaxies do or do not host MBHs. We adopt a novel approach to forming seed black holes in galaxy halos in cosmological SPH+ N -body simulations. The formation of MBH seeds is dictated directly by the local gas density, temperature, and metallicity, and motivated by physical models of MBH formation. We explore seed black hole populations as a function of halo mass and redshift, and examine how varying the efficiency of MBH seed formation affects the relationship between black holes and their hosts. Seed black holes tend to form in halos with mass between 10 7 and 10 9 M _ , and the formation rate is suppressed around z = 5 due to the diffusion of metals throughout the intergalactic medium. We find that the time of MBH formation and the occupation fraction of black holes are a function of the host halo mass. By z = 5, halos with mass M halo > 3 _ 10 9 M _ host MBHs regardless of the efficiency of seed formation, while the occupation fraction for smaller halos increases with black hole formation efficiency. Our simulations explain why MBHs are found in some bulgeless and dwarf galaxies, but we also predict that their occurrence becomes rarer and rarer in low-mass systems

Publisher: IOP Publishing
Year: 2011
DOI identifier: 10.1088/0004-637X-742-1-13
OAI identifier: oai:deepblue.lib.umich.edu:2027.42/90769

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