Physics Department Seminar University of Alaska Fairbanks

J O U R N A L    C L U B


Shedding Light on the Mysterious Role of Supermassive Black Holes in Galaxy Evolution

Erin Hicks
Department of Physics & Astronomy, University of Alaska Anchorage



It is now well established that galaxies harbor a central supermassive black hole, and that the growth of these black holes (BHs) is fundamentally linked to the evolution of their host galaxies.  However, the physical processes responsible for this BH-galaxy co-evolution have yet to be identified.  I will present ongoing studies to characterize the circumnuclear regions (central ~200 parsecs) of galaxies with actively growing BHs to provide insight into two fundamental processes: feeding of the BHs and feedback from this BH accretion on the host galaxy.  Through these multiwavelength surveys of active galactic nuclei, a new model of the central engine is emerging in which the relevant structures across a range of spatial scales are dynamic with a potential dependence on the luminosity of the active nucleus.  Future prospects for probing scales even closer to the central supermassive BHs with new facilities such as the James Webb Space Telescope will also be discussed.


Friday, 11 December 2020

On Zoom only: