Astrophysics Seminar: Dr. Sarah Wellons, Northwestern University


Location: zoom

Simulating the Growth of Galaxies and Black Holes in the Early Universe

Dr. Sarah Wellons
NSF Postdoctoral Fellow
Center for Interdisciplinary Exploration and Research in Astrophysics
Northwestern University

The early (z > 1) Universe provides a unique window on some of the most important outstanding questions in galaxy formation physics: What processes regulate star formation in galactic systems?  How is the growth of massive galaxies connected to the growth of the supermassive black holes (SMBHs) they host?  And what is responsible for the emergence of the red sequence of quenched galaxies?  I will discuss these questions from a simulator's perspective, describing large-volume and zoom-in cosmological simulation techniques and presenting new results from each.  I will show how a SMBH's ability to accrete and grow is dependent on the galactic environment, and how different accretion models produce different predictions for observables like the quasar luminosity function.  I will also present results from an upcoming paper analyzing a suite of zoom-in simulations with various implementations of SMBH accretion and feedback (i.e., winds and jets launched from the accretion disk which impact the galactic environment) across 3 decades in halo mass, to uncover the properties of models which can produce quenching in the most massive systems and/or avoid quenching in dwarf galaxies. 

All interested persons are invited to attend remotely—email for information.