The discovery of black holes was the first collision of quantum gravity with general relativity: astrophysicists from Western University have found evidence of the direct formation of black holes that do not need to emerge from a stellar remnant . The production of black holes in the early universe, formed in this way, can provide scientists with an explanation of the presence of extremely massive black holes in a very early stage in the history of our universe.
Shantanu Basu and Arpan Das of the Department of Physics and Western Astronomy have developed an explanation for the observed distribution of masses and luminosities of supermassive black holes, for which previously there was no scientific explanation.
The model is based on a very simple assumption: the supermassive black holes are formed very, very quickly for very, very short periods of time and, suddenly, they stop. This explanation contrasts with the current understanding of how the black holes of the stellar mass are formed, which are released when the center of a very massive star falls on itself.
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"This is an indirect observational evidence that black holes originate in direct collapses and not in stellar remnants," says Basu, a professor of astronomy in Western, which is internationally recognized as an expert in the early stages of the star formation and of the protoplanetary disk.
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Basu and Das developed the new mathematical model by calculating the massive function of the supermassive black holes that are formed in a limited period of time and experience a rapid exponential growth of the mass. The growth of the mass can be regulated by the boundary of Eddington established by a balance of forces of radiation and gravitation or even can be overcome by a modest factor.
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"Supermassive black holes only had a short period of time in which they could grow rapidly and, at some point, due to all the radiation of the universe created by other black holes and stars, their production goes away stop ", Basu explains. "It's the scene of direct collapse."
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During the last decade, they have discovered many supermassive black holes, which are a billion times more massive than the Sun, in "red trips", which means that they were in our universe 800 million Years after the Big Bang. The presence of these young and very harsh black holes questions our understanding of the growth and formation of black holes.
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The scene of direct collapse allows initial masses much greater than the standard scenario of the stellar rest and that can go a long way in explaining the observations. This new result provides evidence that these black holes of direct collapse actually took place in the early universe.
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Basu thinks that these new results can be used with future observations to infer the history of the formation of the extremely massive black holes that are in the early stages of our universe.
The results were published by Astrophysical Journal Letters.
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Image at the top of the page: it shows the 30-year-old light internals of a dark-matter halo in a cluster of young galaxies. The rotating gaseous disk is divided into three groups that collapse under their own gravity to form supermassive stars. Credits: John Wise, Georgia Institute of Technology