The Search for Supermassive Black Holes in Low Mass and Bulgeless Galaxies

Tuesday, November 5, 2013 - 3:15pm - 4:30pm
Regents 109
Shobita Satyapal
George Mason University

It is now known that supermassive black holes one million to a few billion times the mass of the Sun lurk in the centers of most bulge-dominated galaxies in the local Universe and that their mass is strongly correlated with the galaxy’s bulge mass. This discovery has launched numerous speculations that the formation and evolution of galaxies and supermassive black holes (SMBHs) are fundamentally linked and that perhaps the presence of a bulge is necessary for a black hole to form and grow.While the SMBH and host galaxy properties in the high bulge mass regime have been studied extensively, very little is known about the existence and properties of SMBHs in galaxies with low masses and those with small bulges. This is a significant deficiency since the study of this population allows us to gain an understanding on the origin and growth efficiency of SMBH seeds, thought to have formed at high redshift.

In this talk, I will summarize the results from our recent multi wavelength search of SMBHs in low mass and bulgeless galaxies, and discuss their implication on our understanding of the origins of the ubiquitious supermassive black holes that reside in the centers of massive galaxies.


HostWes Mathews
Discussion LeaderWes Mathews