Normal black holes in bulge-less galaxies:the largely quiescent, merger-free growth of black holes over cosmic time

Martin, G and Kaviraj, S and Volonteri, M and Simmons, B D and Devriendt, J E G and Lintott, C J and Smethurst, R J and Dubois, Y and Pichon, C (2018) Normal black holes in bulge-less galaxies:the largely quiescent, merger-free growth of black holes over cosmic time. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 476 (2). pp. 2801-2812. ISSN 0035-8711

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Abstract

Understanding the processes that drive the formation of black holes (BHs) is a key topic in observational cosmology. While the observed MBH–MBulge correlation in bulge-dominated galaxies is thought to be produced by major mergers, the existence of an MBH–M⋆ relation, across all galaxy morphological types, suggests that BHs may be largely built by secular processes. Recent evidence that bulge-less galaxies, which are unlikely to have had significant mergers, are offset from the MBH–MBulge relation, but lie on the MBH–M⋆ relation, has strengthened this hypothesis. Nevertheless, the small size and heterogeneity of current data sets, coupled with the difficulty in measuring precise BH masses, make it challenging to address this issue using empirical studies alone. Here, we use Horizon-AGN, a cosmological hydrodynamical simulation to probe the role of mergers in BH growth over cosmic time. We show that (1) as suggested by observations, simulated bulge-less galaxies lie offset from the main MBH–MBulge relation, but on the MBH–M⋆ relation, (2) the positions of galaxies on the MBH–M⋆ relation are not affected by their merger histories, and (3) only ∼35 per cent of the BH mass in today's massive galaxies is directly attributable to merging – the majority (∼65 per cent) of BH growth, therefore, takes place gradually, via secular processes, over cosmic time.

Item Type:
Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Uncontrolled Keywords:
/dk/atira/pure/subjectarea/asjc/1900/1912
Subjects:
ID Code:
127607
Deposited By:
Deposited On:
21 Sep 2018 14:04
Refereed?:
Yes
Published?:
Published
Last Modified:
25 Sep 2020 03:55