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Astronomy | Measuring the Angular Momentum of Supermassive Black Holes

Measuring the Angular Momentum of Supermassive Black Holes

Brenneman, Laura

2013, V, 54 p. 28 illus., 25 illus. in color.

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  • Presents the most recent findings on measuring supermassive black hole spins and what this means for galaxy evolution and cosmology
Measuring the spin distribution of supermassive black holes is of critical importance for understanding how these black holes and their host galaxies form and evolve over time, yet this type of study is only in its infancy.  This brief describes how astronomers measure spin in supermassive black holes using X-ray spectroscopy.   It also reviews the constraints that have been placed on the spin distribution in local, bright active galaxies over the past six years, and the cosmological implications of these constraints.  Finally, it summarizes the open questions that remain in this exciting new field of research and points toward future discoveries soon to be made by the next generation of space-based observatories.

Content Level » Research

Keywords » X-ray spectroscopy black holes - angular momentum black holes - astrophysical measurements - black hole properties - black hole spin - measuring black hole spin - relativistic astronomy - springer astronomy brief

Related subjects » Astronomy - Astronomy, Observations and Techniques - Theoretical, Mathematical & Computational Physics

Table of contents 

I. Introduction on importance of black hole spin.- II. Description of spectroscopic techniques used to measure spin in AGN.- III. Review of current spin measurements.- IV. Implications for the growth of black holes and their host galaxies.- V. Future Directions.

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