Abstract by William Black
Physics and Astronomy
Primordial Origins of Supermassive Black Holes
Black holes have a limited growth rate, meaning we can estimate their maximum size after an amount of time. But even if the first stars were to collapse into black holes, they'd not grow into the sizes of the supermassive black holes (SMBHs) we see today! I investigate the origins of SMBHs by simulating growth of black holes formed by the Big Bang, called primordial black holes (PBHs). I used Enzo, a supercomputing cosmology code, to simulate the growth of PBHs. I compare two algorithms for accreting matter: Bondi-Hoyle accretion and DeBuhrian accretion. While Bondi-Hoyle accretion showed nearly no growth, PBHs undergoing DeBuhrian accretion sometimes grew to the size of SMBHs, thus confirming the possibility of PBHs as a progenitor of SMBHs.