20th Texas Symposium on relativistic astrophysics,
Austin, Texas, 10-15 Decem ber 2000, Melville, NY: American Institute of
Physics, 2001, xix, 938 p. AIP conference proceedings, Vol. 586. Edited
by J. Craig Wheeler and Hugo Martel. ISBN 0735400261, p.363
For a PDF version of the article, click
For a PDF version of the article, click here.
Abstract. We review the motivation and search for supermassive black holes (BHs) in galaxies. Energetic nuclear activity provides indirect but compelling evidence for BH engines. Ground-based dynamical searches for central dark objects are reviewed in Kormendy & Richstone (1995, ARA&A, 33, 581). Here we provide an update of results from the Hubble Space Telescope (HST). This has greatly accelerated the detection rate. As of 2001 March, dynamical BH detections are available for at least 37 galaxies.
The demographics of these objects lead to the following conclusions: (1) BH mass correlates with the luminosity of the bulge component of the host galaxy, albeit with considerable scatter. The median BH mass fraction is 0.13% of the mass of the bulge. (2) BH mass correlates with the mean velocity dispersion of the bulge inside its effective radius, i.e., with how strongly the bulge stars are gravitationally bound to each other. For the best mass determinations, the scatter is consistent with the measurement errors. (3) BH mass correlates with the luminosity of the high-density central component in disk galaxies independent of whether this is a real bulge (a mini-elliptical, believed to form via a merger-induced dissipative collapse and starburst) or a ``pseudobulge'' (believed to form by inward transport of disk material). (4) BH mass does not correlate with the luminosity of galaxy disks. If pure disks contain BHs (and active nuclei imply that some do), then their masses are much smaller than 0.13% of the mass of the disk.
We conclude that present observations show no dependence of BH mass on the details of whether BH feeding happens rapidly during a collapse or slowly via secular evolution of the disk. The above results increasingly support the hypothesis that the major events that form a bulge or elliptical galaxy and the main growth phases of its BH - when it shone like a quasar - were the same events.
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