Physics & Astronomy Colloquium - Ryan Hickox, Dartmouth College

Dartmouth Events

Physics & Astronomy Colloquium - Ryan Hickox, Dartmouth College

Title: "The Hidden Monsters: New Windows on the Cosmic Evolution of Supermassive Black Holes"

Friday, March 10, 2017
Wilder 104
Intended Audience(s): Public
Categories: Lectures & Seminars

Abstract: At the heart of essentially every large galaxy in the Universe lies a supermassive black hole. In the past decade, surveys of the extragalactic sky have made great progress in understanding the cosmic growth of these black holes, as they "eat" surrounding material and radiate as active galactic nuclei (AGN). However, our picture of black hole evolution has remained incomplete, due to the challenges of detecting black holes that are highly obscured by gas and dust or hidden beneath the light of their host galaxies. With the advent of new resources including hard X-ray observations from NuSTAR, mid-infrared data from WISE, and new insights from theoretical models, we can now identify millions of these hidden growing black holes across much the sky, and characterize the nature of their obscuration and their role in the formation of galaxies. I will describe recent efforts to characterize these "hidden black holes, particularly highlighting work by postdocs, graduate students, and undergraduates here at Dartmouth, and will present evidence that (at least some) powerful obscured AGN represent an evolutionary phase in the evolution of their host galaxies. Finally, I will point to the exciting potential for future of AGN population studies with the next generation of extragalactic surveys, including with NASA's Lynx concept X-ray mission.

For more information, contact:
Tressena Manning

Events are free and open to the public unless otherwise noted.