Northwestern University

Tue 4:00 PM

Rachel Somerville: Momentum-driven winds from radiatively efficient black hole accretion and their impact on galaxy properties

When: Tuesday, May 1, 2018
4:00 PM - 5:00 PM  

Where: Technological Institute, F160, 2145 Sheridan Road, Evanston, IL 60208 map it

Audience: Faculty/Staff - Student - Public - Post Docs/Docs - Graduate Students

Contact: Pamela Villalovoz   847.491.3644

Group: Physics and Astronomy Astrophysics Seminars

Category: Academic

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Title: Momentum-driven winds from radiatively efficient black hole accretion and their impact on galaxy properties

Speaker: Rachel Somerville, Rutgers University

Host: Sarah Wellons

Abstract: Accretion onto supermassive black holes in galactic nuclei can produce energetic radiation and jets. The impact of these physical processes (collectively referred to as "AGN Feedback") on galaxies and the circum- and intergalactic gas is a central topic of investigation in galaxy formation and cosmology. Many state-of-the-art cosmological simulations of galaxy formation and evolution have focused on the "jet mode" of AGN feedback, and have largely neglected the momentum that may be imparted to gas via radiation pressure on gas and dust. Observations indicate that most or perhaps even all active galaxies may contain high-velocity outflows, but there is an ongoing debate about the mass-loading factors and overall impact of these outflows on large scales. In this talk I will present results from a recent suite of high-resolution "zoom in" cosmological hydrodynamic simulations in which we model both thermal and momentum feedback from radiatively efficient accretion onto supermassive black holes in massive galaxies. We carry out an analysis of gas and metal inflows and outflows in these simulations, and in a matched suite that is identical except that they do not include black holes and AGN feedback. I will discuss the properties of the winds driven by the combined effects of stars and black holes, and how they differ in the full and no-AGN simulation suites. In addition I will discuss the impact of these winds on observable properties of galaxies and the circumgalactic medium.

Keywords: Physics, Astronomy, Astrophysics

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