10/1/19 Astrophysics Colloquium — Disentangling Nature From Nurture: Tracing The Origin Of Seed Black Holes (speaker: Priyamvada Natarajan, Yale)

Tuesday October 1, 2019 4:00 pm

Nearly all galaxies appear to harbor a supermassive black hole. The origin and properties of
initial black hole seeds that grow to produce the detected supermassive black hole population
are unconstrained at present, as actively growing seeds are not directly observable near their b
irth epochs. Nevertheless, some unique signatures of seeding do survive and still exist in: local scaling relations between black holes and their galaxy hosts at low-masses; in high-redshift luminosity functions of accreting black holes; and in the total number and mass functions of gravitational wave coalescence events from merging binary black holes. I will describe several
of these newly proposed observables that encapsulate information about seeding and permit disentangling the confounding effects of subsequent growth, merging and evolution that stand
to erase the initial conditions. With exciting prospects for the availability of multi-wavelength multi-messenger data, we stand to disentangle nature from nurture!

Host: Erin Kara


  • Priyamvada Natarajan, Yale

Event Contact

Debbie Meinbresse