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New Insights into the Cosmic Growth of Supermassive Black Holes

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Using a “wedding cake” combination of X-ray+multi-wavelength surveys, we measure the growth of supermassive black holes at the centers of galaxies over the last ~12 billion years. Most Active Galactic Nuclei are heavily obscured and thus look like inactive galaxies in optical surveys, so our census effectively quadruples the amount of accretion, and thus the amount of energy deposited in AGN host galaxies. However, contrary to leading models, our data suggest that for only a minority of galaxies does merger-triggered AGN “feedback” cause rapid quenching of star formation.

Hosted by: IoA Equality Diversity and Inclusion Committee

This talk is part of the Institute of Astronomy Extra Talks series.

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