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Project area/S

  • The Local Universe

Project Details

Recent observational studies have discovered surprisingly massive black holes (MBHs) with ~10 million solar masses in ultra-compact dwarf galaxies, UCDs (Seth et al. 2014: see Figure 1 below). Given the smaller masses of UCDs (less than 100 million solar masses), the origin of such MBHs in such tiny galaxies is mysterious. In this project, students will use computer simulations of UCD evolution in order to investigate the growth of seed black holes with the initial masses of less than 10,000 solar masses through gas accretion from stars of UCDs. This hydrodynamical simulation will reveal (i) how the seed black holes within UCDs can grow and (ii) whether or not the seed black holes can become MBHs within several Gyrs. The observed relation between the masses of MBHs and UCDs will be also discussed based on the results of computer simulations for comparison with the latest observations.

Student Attributes

Academic Background

Basic knowledge of physics and astronomy.

Computing Skills
This is not essential in this project.

Training Requirement
Students will use data from computer simulations, and I will teach how to analyze the data.

Project Timeline

  • Week 1 Inductions and project introduction
  • Week 2 Initial Presentation
  • Week 3 Performance of computer simulations using GPU clusters at ICRAR (or OzSTAR)
  • Week 4 Analysis of the data from the above simulations
  • Week 5 The same as Week 3, but for different parameter sets
  • Week 6 Same as Week 4
  • Week 7 Data analysis of the simulations
  • Week 8 Discussion on the physical interpretation of the results, and if possible, comparison with observations will be made
  • Week 9 Final Presentation
  • Week 10 Final Report