The Formation of the First Quasars in the Universe [GA]

Supermassive black holes are the central engines of luminous quasars and are found in most massive galaxies today. But the recent discoveries of ULAS J1120+0641, a 2 $\times$ 10$^9$ M$_{\odot}$ black hole at $z \sim$ 7.1, and SDSS J0100+2802, a 1.2 $\times$ 10$^{10}$ M$_{\odot}$ black hole at $z =$ 6.3, challenge current paradigms of cosmic structure formation because it is not known how quasars this massive appeared less than a billion years after the Big Bang. Here, we report new cosmological simulations of SMBHs with x-rays fully coupled to primordial chemistry and hydrodynamics that show that J1120+0641 and J0100+2802 can form from direct collapse black holes if their growth is fed by cold, dense accretion streams, like those thought to fuel the rapid growth of some galaxies at later epochs. Our models reproduce the mass, luminosity and ionized near zone of J1120+0641, as well as the star formation rate and metallicity in its host galaxy. They also match new observations of the dynamical mass of the central 1.5 kpc of its emission region just obtained with ALMA. We find that supernova feedback from star formation in the host galaxy regulates the growth of the quasar from early times.

Read this paper on arXiv…

J. Smidt, D. Whalen, J. Johnson, et. al.
Fri, 3 Mar 17

Comments: 6 pages, 5 figures. Submitted to ApJ