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Rapid growth of black holes in massive star-forming galaxies

Alexander, D. M. and Smail, I. and Bauer, F. E. and Chapman, S. C. and Blain, A. W. and Brandt, W. N. and Ivison, R. J. (2005) Rapid growth of black holes in massive star-forming galaxies. Nature, 434 (7034). pp. 738-740. ISSN 0028-0836. doi:10.1038/nature03473.

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The tight relationship between the masses of black holes and galaxy spheroids in nearby galaxies1 implies a causal connection between the growth of these two components. Optically luminous quasars host the most prodigious accreting black holes in the Universe, and can account for greater than or ≳30 per cent of the total cosmological black-hole growth. As typical quasars are not, however, undergoing intense star formation and already host massive black holes (> 10^8 M_☉, where M_☉ is the solar mass), there must have been an earlier pre-quasar phase when these black holes grew (mass range approx(10^6–10^8)M_☉. The likely signature of this earlier stage is simultaneous black-hole growth and star formation in distant (redshift z > 1; >8 billion light years away) luminous galaxies. Here we report ultra-deep X-ray observations of distant star-forming galaxies that are bright at submillimetre wavelengths. We find that the black holes in these galaxies are growing almost continuously throughout periods of intense star formation. This activity appears to be more tightly associated with these galaxies than any other coeval galaxy populations. We show that the black-hole growth from these galaxies is consistent with that expected for the pre-quasar phase.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription ReadCube access
Alexander, D. M.0000-0002-5896-6313
Smail, I.0000-0003-3037-257X
Bauer, F. E.0000-0002-8686-8737
Blain, A. W.0000-0001-7489-5167
Brandt, W. N.0000-0002-0167-2453
Ivison, R. J.0000-0001-5118-1313
Additional Information:© 2005 Nature Publishing Group. Received 12 October 2004; Accepted 11 February 2005. We are grateful to R. McLure, M. Page, F. Shankar and Q. Yu for providing data and scientific insight. We thank the Royal Society (D.M.A., I.S.), PPARC (F.E.B.) and NASA (S.C.C., W.N.B.) for support. Data presented here were obtained using the W.M. Keck Observatory, which is operated as a scientific partnership among Caltech, the University of California and NASA.
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Particle Physics and Astronomy Research Council (PPARC)UNSPECIFIED
Issue or Number:7034
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20150325-143052004
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Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:56084
Deposited By: Ruth Sustaita
Deposited On:26 Mar 2015 02:40
Last Modified:10 Nov 2021 20:54

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