AAS 204th Meeting, June 2004
Session 42 Cosmology and Lensing
Poster, Tuesday, June 1, 2004, 10:00am-7:00pm, Ballroom

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[42.08] The Race to Build Supermassive Black Holes

C. Tyler, B. Janus, D. Santos-Noble (Fort Lewis College)

The high redshifts of the most distant known quasars, and the best estimates of their black hole masses, require that supermassive black holes (SMBHs) must have formed very early in history. Several mechanisms for creating and growing these holes have been proposed. Here we present an evaluation of the timescales needed for various critical processes in order to discriminate between the proposed scenarios. We find in particular that mergers alone are not able to grow the black holes at a sufficient rate. Accretion models offer a solution and we use accretion timescales to constrain the manner in which the black hole was first formed. This analysis implies, but does not require, the action of some unconventional process.

This work was supported by NASA under the Colorado Space Grant Consortium.

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