Super-massive Black Holes & Galaxies

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April 13, 2005 - Super-massive Black Holes and Galaxies - Laura Ferrarese, HIA-HST

Galaxy NGC 4261 with black hole in centreWith the existence of super-massive black holes in galactic centers established beyond any reasonable doubt, the study of black hole demographics has become the focus of current research efforts. I will critically compare estimates of the mass density in super-massive black holes from the present day to the quasar era, derived using a variety of methods. In particular, I will discuss the nature of the connection between super-massive black holes and their host galaxies in the local Universe, and how the observations have helped us in shaping a coherent view of how super-massive black holes formed and evolve. I will conclude by discussing the role that the next generation of ground and space based observatories will play in this field.

Bio: I received my PhD in 1996 at > Johns Hopkins University, working with Holland Ford on morphology and dynamics of elliptical galaxies. I then moved to Caltech for a post-doc, then to Rutgers, in New Jersey, where I stayed as an associate professor until September 2004, when I moved to HIA. I am here as a Senior Research Officer. My research is focused towards studying the shape and kinematics of elliptical galaxies, and determining the "overall scale" of the Universe by measuring Cepheid distances to nearby galaxies.


Supermassive Black Holes - BBC - Science & Nature - Horizon


Supermassive black holes (June 2002)- Physics World - PhysicsWeb


Black Hole Discovery Leads to New Field of Study - Hopkins Johns Hopkins University News Releases


The New History of Black Holes 'Co-evolution' Dramatically Alters Dark Reputation -

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