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Black hole feedback in a multiphase interstellar medium

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journal contribution
posted on 2015-10-14, 09:37 authored by Martin A. Bourne, Sergei Nayakshin, A. Hobbs
Ultrafast outflows (UFOs) from supermassive black holes (SMBHs) are thought to regulate the growth of SMBHs and host galaxies, resulting in a number of observational correlations. We present high-resolution numerical simulations of the impact of a thermalized UFO on the ambient gas in the inner part of the host galaxy. Our results depend strongly on whether the gas is homogeneous or clumpy. In the former case all of the ambient gas is driven outward rapidly as expected based on commonly used energy budget arguments, while in the latter the flows of mass and energy de-couple. Carrying most of the energy, the shocked UFO escapes from the bulge via paths of least resistance, taking with it only the low-density phase of the host. Most of the mass is however in the high-density phase, and is affected by the UFO much less strongly, and may even continue to flow inwards. We suggest that the UFO energy leakage through the pores in the multiphase interstellar medium (ISM) may explain why observed SMBHs are so massive despite their overwhelmingly large energy production rates. The multiphase ISM effects reported here are probably under-resolved in cosmological simulations but may be included in prescriptions for active galactic nuclei feedback in future simulations and in semi-analytical models.



Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 2014, 441 (4), pp. 3055-3064 (10)

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/Organisation/COLLEGE OF SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING/Department of Physics and Astronomy


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Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society


Oxford University Press (OUP)





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