The Impact of Supermassive Black Holes on Galaxy Formation and Fundamental Physics

Prof. Luis Ho, Peking University
Wed, 2021-03-17 16:00 - 17:00
ZOOM: PIN: 938962

The centers of all massive galaxies contain supermassive black holes weighing millions to tens of billions times the mass of the Sun.  Recent observations reveal that even a significant fraction of low-mass galaxies contain smaller intermediate-mass black holes, which give new insights into the birth of supermassive black holes and offer predictions for the next generation of gravitational wave experiments.  Accretion of matter by central black holes power energetic phenomena such as quasars and various forms of active galactic nuclei.  The energy and momentum released by accretion, in turn, may strongly influence the lifecycle of galaxies.  I will summarize the critical observations over the past 20 years that have led to the discovery of the widespread existence of black holes in galaxies, which is among one of the most important developments in modern astrophysics.

Prior to joining KIAA, Luis Ho was a Staff Astronomer for 15 years at the Observatories of the Carnegie Institution for Science.  His research covers a wide range of different, but interrelated areas, using all available observational techniques spanning from radio to X-ray energies.  He actively uses ground-based telescopes and space-based astronomical satellites. The main topics of his research, published in over 350 refereed papers,  include: (1) active galaxies and quasars, including the physics of emission-line regions, accretion disks, jets, and host galaxies; (2) searches for massive black holes, from star clusters to the centers of galaxies; (3) coevolution of black holes and galaxies, black hole scaling relations, and AGN feedback; (4) galaxy structure and the origin of the Hubble sequence; (5) extragalactic star formation; and (6) the interstellar medium.