Gas Flows: from Black Holes to Galaxies

Vivian U (UCI/UCR)
September 8, 2017 - 12:15pm

Abstract

The tight correlations between black hole mass and the bulge properties of its host galaxy suggest that black holes and their hosts coevolve.  However, the drastically different size and mass scales of these two structures make a physical explanation of the correlation challenging. Gas plays a prominent role in galaxy evolution by fueling supermassive black holes and star formation; feedback processes quench activity by heating or removing the gas. Tracing nuclear gas kinematics at small scales presents the most direct way to examine the feeding and feedback associated with massive black holes, particularly in the luminous regime where mass accretion is happening most rapidly. In this talk, I will present results from our Keck survey that highlights the gas kinematics around black holes in nearby galaxy mergers as they transition from kiloparsec separations to coalescence. Our findings characterized and addressed the nature of nuclear disks, molecular gas outflows as driven by active black holes, as well as the shocked and turbulent gas in the interstellar medium within the progenitor galaxies. To probe gas closer to the black hole, I will also present our ongoing efforts to explore the broad line region structure and dynamics in luminous Seyfert galaxies using reverberation mapping in a new campaign of the Lick AGN Monitoring Project.