Ricarda Beckmann

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Ricarda Beckmann


I attempt to understand the origin, evolution and impact of supermassive black holes using computer simulations.

The first supermassive black holes, found to be shining brightly when the universe was just a billion years old, must have grown very rapidly to become so massive in such a limited amount of time. Where do they come from, and how did they grow so fast? To answer these questions, I have developed an extremely high resolution simulation of one supermassive black hole's evolution, spanning the first billion years of the universe in a full cosmological context.

If we look at galaxies today, we see a distinct difference between the galaxies we observe, and what we would expect from theoretical predictions. The winds and jets produced by active supermassive black holes are thought to create this difference. I study this coevolution of supermassive black holes and their host galaxy using a large scale simulation with a sample of about 100 000 galaxies, spanning the entire history of the universe.

Key words: SMBH, AGN, black hole accretion, gas dynamics, SMBH coevolution, galaxy mass function, feedback, numerical astrophysics, cosmological simulations