Building the Black Hole in Our Own Backyard
Supermassive black holes are a natural part of nearly every galaxy, but how these black holes form, grow, and interact within the galactic center is still a mystery. In theory, gas rich major galaxy mergers can easily generate the fuel needed for a low mass black hole 'seed' to grow quickly and efficiently into a supermassive one. This major merger paradigm has become an accepted way to form the billion solar mass black holes that power bright quasars in the early universe. It's not clear how well this paradigm works for growing the million solar mass black holes, which tend to lie in galaxies like our own Milky Way. This talk covers efforts to refine theories of black hole growth for this lightest supermassive class.
Holley-Bocklemann, Kelly, "Building the Black Hole in Our Own Backyard" (2015). Public Lecture Series. 44.