Astronomy & Astrophysics Seminar

Speaker: Jonathan Trump, University of Connecticut

Title: Mapping the Census of Supermassive Black Holes

Refreshments available.

Date: Wed, 19 Sep 2018, 1:30 pm – 2:30 pm
Type: Seminar
Location: 1400 BPS Bldg.

The past 20 years have revealed that super­massive black holes play an essen­tial role in the forma­tion and growth of gal­axies. But a reli­able cen­sus of super­massive black holes over cos­mic time has remained elu­sive. That pic­ture is chang­ing with the ad­vent of two new emphases in astro­nomical sur­veys: massive­ly multi­plexed spatial­ly re­solved spec­troscopy, and indus­trial-scale time-do­main mon­itor­ing. I will show how Hubble WFC3 grism spec­troscopy spatial­ly re­solves a popula­tion of nuclear black holes that are other­wise missed due to host galaxy dilu­tion. CANDELS/3D-HST grism data unique­ly reveal the black hole con­tent of low-mass hosts, dis­crim­ina­ting be­tween models of black hole forma­tion at cosmic dawn. Mean­while the pio­neer­ing new SDSS-RM project is now vast­ly expand­ing the num­ber of super­massive black holes with reli­able mass measure­ments through time-do­main echo-map­ping. Beyond mass, SDSS-RM is also start­ing to en­able the first survey measure­ments of the other two funda­mental black hole quan­tities: accre­tion rate and spin. I will con­clude by look­ing for­ward to the next genera­tion of obser­vatories: JWST, WFIRST, and Euclid for a new spatial­ly re­solved fron­tier of the super­massive black hole cen­sus, and SDSS-V and LSST for a new time-do­main fron­tier of black hole mass, accre­tion, and spin.