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Aug 15, 2021

The bonkers connection between massive black holes and dark matter

Posted by in categories: cosmology, physics

But a team of physicists is proposing a radical idea: Instead of forming black holes through the usual death-of-a-massive-start route, giant dark matter halos directly collapsed, forming the seeds of the first great black holes.

Supermassive black holes (SMBHs) appear early in the history of the universe, as little as a few hundred million years after the Big Bang. That rapid appearance poses a challenge to conventional models of SMBH birth and growth because it doesn’t look like there can be enough time for them to grow so massive so quickly.

“Physicists are puzzled why SMBHs in the early universe, which are located in the central regions of dark matter halos, grow so massively in a short time,” said Hai-Bo Yu, an associate professor of physics and astronomy at UC Riverside, who led a study of SMBH formation that appeared in Astrophysical Journal Letters.

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