An observed fundamental plane relation for supermassive black holes

Philip F. Hopkins, Lars Hernquist, Thomas J. Cox, Brant Robertson, Elisabeth Krause

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

135 Scopus citations

Abstract

We study observed correlations between supermassive black hole (BHs) and the properties of their host galaxies and show that the observations define a BH "fundamental plane" (BHFP), of the form MBH χ σ3.0±0.3Re0.43±0.19 or MBH χ M0.54±0.17σ 2.2±0.5, analogous to the FP of elliptical galaxies. The BHFP is preferred over a simple relation between MBH and any of σ, M*, Mdyn, or Re alone at >3 σ (99.9%) significance. The existence of this BHFP has important implications for the formation of supermassive BHs and the masses of the very largest black holes and immediately resolves several apparent conflicts between the BH masses expected and measured for outliers in both the MBH-σ and M BH-M* relations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)67-73
Number of pages7
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Volume669
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 1 2007

Keywords

  • Cosmology: theory
  • Galaxies: active
  • Galaxies: evolution
  • Quasars: general

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science

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