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On the dynamics of supermassive black holes in gas-rich, star-forming galaxies: the case for nuclear star cluster co-evolution


Biernacki, Pawel; Teyssier, Romain; Bleuler, Andreas (2017). On the dynamics of supermassive black holes in gas-rich, star-forming galaxies: the case for nuclear star cluster co-evolution. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 469(1):295-313.

Abstract

We introduce a new model for the formation and evolution of supermassive black holes (SMBHs) in the ramses code using sink particles, improving over previous work the treatment of gas accretion and dynamical evolution. This new model is tested against a suite of high-resolution simulations of an isolated, gas-rich, cooling halo. We study the effect of various feedback models on the SMBH growth and its dynamics within the galaxy. In runs without any feedback, the SMBH is trapped within a massive bulge and is therefore able to grow quickly, but only if the seed mass is chosen larger than the minimum Jeans mass resolved by the simulation. We demonstrate that, in the absence of supernovae (SN) feedback, the maximum SMBH mass is reached when active galactic nucleus (AGN) heating balances gas cooling in the nuclear region. When our efficient SN feedback is included, it completely prevents bulge formation, so that massive gas clumps can perturb the SMBH orbit, and reduce the accretion rate significantly. To overcome this issue, we propose an observationally motivated model for the joint evolution of the SMBH and a parent nuclear star cluster (NSC), which allows the SMBH to remain in the nuclear region, grow fast and resist external perturbations. In this scenario, however, SN feedback controls the gas supply and the maximum SMBH mass now depends on the balance between AGN heating and gravity. We conclude that SMBH/NSC co-evolution is crucial for the growth of SMBH in high-z galaxies, the progenitors of massive ellipticals today.

Abstract

We introduce a new model for the formation and evolution of supermassive black holes (SMBHs) in the ramses code using sink particles, improving over previous work the treatment of gas accretion and dynamical evolution. This new model is tested against a suite of high-resolution simulations of an isolated, gas-rich, cooling halo. We study the effect of various feedback models on the SMBH growth and its dynamics within the galaxy. In runs without any feedback, the SMBH is trapped within a massive bulge and is therefore able to grow quickly, but only if the seed mass is chosen larger than the minimum Jeans mass resolved by the simulation. We demonstrate that, in the absence of supernovae (SN) feedback, the maximum SMBH mass is reached when active galactic nucleus (AGN) heating balances gas cooling in the nuclear region. When our efficient SN feedback is included, it completely prevents bulge formation, so that massive gas clumps can perturb the SMBH orbit, and reduce the accretion rate significantly. To overcome this issue, we propose an observationally motivated model for the joint evolution of the SMBH and a parent nuclear star cluster (NSC), which allows the SMBH to remain in the nuclear region, grow fast and resist external perturbations. In this scenario, however, SN feedback controls the gas supply and the maximum SMBH mass now depends on the balance between AGN heating and gravity. We conclude that SMBH/NSC co-evolution is crucial for the growth of SMBH in high-z galaxies, the progenitors of massive ellipticals today.

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Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Institute for Computational Science
Dewey Decimal Classification:530 Physics
Language:English
Date:21 July 2017
Deposited On:07 Dec 2017 13:31
Last Modified:19 Feb 2018 08:36
Publisher:Oxford University Press
ISSN:0035-8711
OA Status:Green
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1093/mnras/stx845

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