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Probing Supermassive Black Hole Growth with Next Generation Telescopes

by Carolyn Hunsinger last modified Apr 17, 2013

Steve Croft, Geoff Bower (UC Berkeley UWM)

David Kaplan, Richard O Shaughnessy (UWM)

Probing Supermassive Black Hole Growth with Next Generation Telescopes

The new generation of survey telescopes will change our understanding of how supermassive black holes grow. Whether by stupendous mergers that shake the fabric of space-time, by swallowing huge volumes of ten million degree gas, or by shredding stars that pass too close, growing black holes will make their presence known across the electromagnetic spectrum in the wide-field time-domain surveys of the coming decade. I will focus particularly on the capabilities of the next generation of radio telescopes, which will provide radio variability information with cadences of days for samples of hundreds of thousands of active galactic nuclei, as well as constraining the statistics of stellar tidal disruption events and binary inspirals. I will present some of the current best limits on the transient rate in the radio from the Allen Telescope Array Pi GHz Sky Survey (PiGSS), and the relevance of these results for other Square Kilometer Array pathfinders. I will also emphasize the importance of multi-wavelength data for understanding the populations of sources these surveys will see.