CfA Colloquium Schedule Spring 2005
 7 April 2005

7 April 2005

Speaker: Eliot Quataert (Univ. of California, Berkeley)

Title: Bok Prize Lecture
Gas Dynamics in Galactic Nuclei: Starbursts and AGN Fueling

Abstract: Galaxy mergers are an important phase in the growth and evolution of galaxies and their central massive black holes. Because of strong gravitational torques during the merger, gas is funneled to small radii, fueling intense starbursts and AGN activity. In this talk, I describe the gas dynamics appropriate to the inner few hundred parsecs of gas-rich starbursts. I argue that under these conditions the entire galactic disk radiates at an analogue of the Eddington limit. This mode of star formation is different from that in normal spirals. I show that this model is in good agreement with observations of Ultraluminous Infrared Galaxies. I conclude by highlighting the connection between nuclear starbursts and AGN activity and describe the properties and implications of models in which AGN are fueled by gas stored in the larger-scale starburst disk.

Video of the Presentation (Talks can be viewed with RealPlayer. Free download is available from )

References for students:

  1. Radiation Pressure Supported Starburst Disks and AGN Fueling (astro-ph/0503027)
  2. On the Maximum Luminosity of Galaxies and Their Central Black Holes: Feedback From Momentum-Driven Winds, 2005, ApJ, 618, 569


Section Photo