The Birth of AGNs and Quasars via the Collapse of Dense Star Clusters to Supermassive Black Holes
We consider the fate of a dense cluster of compact stars — neutron stars or stellar-mass black holes — embedded in the nucleus of an active galaxy. The combined effects of two-body dynamical relaxation (the “gravothermal catastrophe”) and star-star collisions and coalescence can drive such a cluster to a relativistic state in a Hubble time. When the core becomes sufficiently relativistic, the cluster inevitably undergoes catastrophic gravitational collapse to a supermassive black hole. This process leads naturally to the birth of supermassive black holes of the “right size” to explain quasars and AGNs: 106 ≲ M/M⊙ ≲ 109.
Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.
- Ambartsumian, V.A. 1938, Ann. Leningrad State Univ. No. 22 (Astr. Series, Issue 4).Google Scholar
- Gold, T., Axford, W.I., and Ray, E.C. 1965, in Quasi-stellar Sources and Gravitational Collapse, ed. I. Robinson et. al. (Chicago: University of Chicago), p. 93.Google Scholar
- Shapiro, S.L. and Teukolsky, S.A. 1985a, Ap. J. Letters, in press.Google Scholar
- Shapiro, S.L. and Teukolsky, S.A. 1985b, Ap. J., in press.Google Scholar
- Shapiro, S.L. and Teukolsky, S.A. 1985c, Ap. J., in press.Google Scholar
- Spitzer, L. 1971, in Galactic Nuclei, ed. D. O’Connell (Amsterdam: North-Holland), p. 443.Google Scholar