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The link between galaxy and black hole growth in the EAGLE simulation

McAlpine, S and Bower, RG and Harrison, CM and Crain, RA and Schaller, M and Schaye, J and Theuns, T (2017) The link between galaxy and black hole growth in the EAGLE simulation. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 468 (3). pp. 3395-3407. ISSN 0035-8711

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Abstract

We investigate the connection between the star formation rate (SFR) of galaxies and their central black hole accretion rate (BHAR) using the EAGLE cosmological hydrodynamical simulation. We find, in striking concurrence with recent observational studies, that the <SFR>--BHAR relation for an AGN selected sample produces a relatively flat trend, whilst the <BHAR>--SFR relation for a SFR selected sample yields an approximately linear trend. These trends remain consistent with their instantaneous equivalents even when both SFR and BHAR are time-averaged over a period of 100~Myr. There is no universal relationship between the two growth rates. Instead, SFR and BHAR evolve through distinct paths that depend strongly on the mass of the host dark matter halo. The galaxies hosted by haloes of mass M200 $\lesssim 10^{11.5}$Msol grow steadily, yet black holes (BHs) in these systems hardly grow, yielding a lack of correlation between SFR and BHAR. As haloes grow through the mass range $10^{11.5} \lesssim$ M200 $\lesssim 10^{12.5 }$Msol BHs undergo a rapid phase of non-linear growth. These systems yield a highly non-linear correlation between the SFR and BHAR, which are non-causally connected via the mass of the host halo. In massive haloes (M200 $\gtrsim 10^{12.5}$Msol) both SFR and BHAR decline on average with a roughly constant scaling of SFR/BHAR $\sim 10^{3}$. Given the complexity of the full SFR--BHAR plane built from multiple behaviours, and from the large dynamic range of BHARs, we find the primary driver of the different observed trends in the <SFR>--BHAR and <BHAR>--SFR relationships are due to sampling considerably different regions of this plane.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: This article has been accepted for publication in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society ©: 2017 The Authors Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Royal Astronomical Society. All rights reserved.
Uncontrolled Keywords: 0201 Astronomical And Space Sciences
Subjects: Q Science > QB Astronomy
Q Science > QC Physics
Divisions: Astrophysics Research Institute
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Related URLs:
Date Deposited: 03 May 2017 09:51
Last Modified: 09 Sep 2017 06:12
URI: http://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/6342

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