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Wednesday 15 Jan 2020[Seminar] Finding the First Quasars with JWST and WFIRST

Daniel Whalen - University of Portsmouth

4th floor, Physics building 14:00-15:00

Over 300 quasars powered by supermassive black holes (SMBHs) have now been discovered at redshifts z > 6, or less than a billion years after the Big Bang. How BHs this massive formed by such early epochs poses significant challenges to current theories of cosmological structure formation. I will present new numerical simulations that show how a 10^9 solar mass black hole could form by z = 7.1, or 775 Myr after the Big Bang, starting with the formation of a supermassive primordial star, its death as a 10^5 solar mass 'direct-collapse' black hole (DCBH), and its subsequent rapid growth fueled by cold accretion flows. I will discuss their prospects for detection in the coming decade by the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) and the Wide-Field Infrared Survey Telescope (WFIRST).

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