University of Connecticut

Events Calendar

Astronomy Seminar

Monday, February 22, 2016
2:00pm – 3:30pm

Storrs Campus
Gant Science Complex, Physics, Room PB-121

Dr. Jonathan Trump, Pennsylvania State University

“The Birth and Growth of Supermassive Black Holes: Coming of Age with Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph Surveys”

The past 20 years have revealed that supermassive black holes play an essential role in the formation and growth of galaxies. Every massive galaxy hosts a supermassive black hole in its center, and the black hole's mass is tightly coupled to the mass of the galaxy. Remarkably, the black hole - galaxy connection has been "self-maintained" from the adolescent universe (z~2) to the current epoch, from Milky-Way progenitors to massive cluster galaxies, governed by coupled black hole accretion and galaxy star formation. Until recently the "chicken-or-egg" birth of galaxies and supermassive black holes has remained mysterious. I will show how "slitless grism" imaging spectrograph surveys with the Hubble Space Telescope are revolutionizing our understanding of black hole formation, revealing a fossil record of massive black hole seeds in tiny galaxies. Similar imaging spectrographs are flagship survey instruments on the upcoming JWST, WFIRST, and Euclid space telescopes, enabling an exciting future for understanding the birth of primordial galaxies and their black hole seeds.


Dawn Rawlinson, 486-4916,

Physics Department (primary)

Control Panel