Black holes in the early universe

In summary, a recent study by Treister et al. found that black hole growth in the early Universe is largely hidden from view and self-regulated. While some extremely massive black holes have been detected in luminous quasars, they do not provide much information about the formation of the earliest black holes. Through deep X-ray observations, it was found that black holes grow in tandem with their host galaxies throughout cosmic history, starting from the earliest times. However, most of these black holes are obscured by gas and dust, indicating that they may contribute more to the growth of the Universe than previously thought, but not through ultraviolet emission. There is also the possibility that these black holes may be pre-cosmic relics from a previous cosmic cycle
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bcrowell
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I'm pretty ignorant about astrophysics, but this made it into the newspaper today, and it seemed interesting.

http://arxiv.org/abs/1106.3079

"Black hole growth in the early Universe is self-regulated and largely hidden from view," Treister et al.

"The formation of the first massive objects in the infant Universe remains impossible to observe directly and yet it sets the stage for the subsequent evolution of galaxies. While some black holes with masses > billion solar masses? have been detected in luminous quasars less than one billion years after the Big Bang, these individual extreme objects have limited utility in constraining the channels of formation of the earliest black holes. The initial conditions of black hole seed properties are quickly erased during the growth process. From deep, optimally stacked, archival X-ray observations, we measure the amount of black hole growth in z=6-8 galaxies (0.7-1 billion years after the Big Bang). Our results imply that black holes grow in tandem with their hosts throughout cosmic history, starting from the earliest times. We find that most copiously accreting black holes at these epochs are buried in significant amounts of gas and dust that absorb most radiation except for the highest energy X-rays. This suggests that black holes grow significantly more than previously thought during these early bursts, and due to obscuration they do not contribute to the re-ionization of the Universe with their ultraviolet emission. "
 
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It's possible that such black holes came from a previous cosmic cycle. They might be pre-cosmic relics according to recent work... http://arxiv.org/abs/1104.3796" ...though I wonder what might lurk behind their event horizons...
 
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Related to Black holes in the early universe

1. What are black holes in the early universe?

Black holes in the early universe refer to the concept of black holes that formed during the early stages of the universe's formation, shortly after the Big Bang. These black holes are believed to have formed from the collapse of massive stars and were essential in shaping the structure of the universe.

2. How were black holes in the early universe formed?

Black holes in the early universe were formed through the collapse of massive stars. When a massive star runs out of fuel, it can no longer support its own weight and collapses under its own gravity. This collapse results in a black hole, which has an incredibly strong gravitational pull that even light cannot escape from.

3. How do black holes in the early universe affect the surrounding environment?

Black holes in the early universe had a significant impact on the surrounding environment. They were responsible for the formation of galaxies and galaxy clusters, as their strong gravitational pull pulled in surrounding matter and formed dense regions of stars and gas. They also played a crucial role in the evolution of the universe by regulating the growth of galaxies.

4. Can we observe black holes in the early universe?

Currently, we cannot observe black holes in the early universe directly. However, scientists can detect the effects of these black holes on the surrounding environment through various methods, such as observing the radiation emitted from the accretion disks surrounding black holes or studying the motion of stars and gas near these regions.

5. How do black holes in the early universe contribute to our understanding of the universe?

The existence of black holes in the early universe helps us understand the formation and evolution of our universe. By studying these black holes and their effects on the surrounding environment, scientists can gain insight into the early stages of the universe and how it has evolved over time. They also provide valuable information about the distribution of matter and energy in the universe and the role of gravity in shaping its structure.

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