University of Connecticut

Events Calendar

Physics Colloquium

Friday, January 19, 2018
3:30pm – 4:30pm

Storrs Campus
Physics Building, Room PB-38

Dr. Meg Urry, Department of Physics and Astronomy, Yale University

Does Supermassive Black Hole Growth Affect Galaxy Evolution?

As galaxies evolve, their rates of star formation change dramatically. Theorists have suggested that energy released by Active Galactic Nuclei (which are rapidly growing supermassive black holes at galaxy centers) could quench star formation, and that AGN episodes are triggered by major galaxy mergers. Having conducted a comprehensive census of supermassive black hole growth using multiwavelength surveys, we looked for evidence that merger-induced AGN shut down star formation, for the first time using morphological information to encode the merger history. Both in the local universe and 7-9 billion years ago (at the peak of star formation and black hole growth), we find some evidence that AGN play a role, especially at earlier times and for higher mass galaxies. However, at both epochs most galaxies are disk-dominated, indicating little role for major mergers, and they evolve too slowly for AGN to play a significant role. Instead, halo mass may cut off the accretion of gas onto the galaxy, thus quenching stellar growth passively.

Coffee will be served prior to the talk, at 3:00 p.m., In Room P-103

Contact:

Prof. Nora Berrah / Amelia Henkel

Physics Department (primary)

Control Panel