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Workshop / Seminar

Physics and Astronomy Colloquium – Dr. Vivienne Baldassare


About the event

The Department of Physics and Astronomy invites you to a colloquium featuring Dr. Vivienne Baldassare, Washington State University. Dr. Baldassare will present her talk, “Searching for supermassive black holes in dwarf galaxies”, Thursday, October 1 at 4:10 pm via Zoom. 

Meeting ID: 910 6707 5085
Passcode: PhysAstro

ABSTRACT: The present-day population of supermassive black holes in low-mass galaxies offers a window into massive black hole formation in the early universe. While we cannot yet observe the formation of “black hole seeds” at high redshift, the fraction of small galaxies that host a supermassive black hole — and the properties of those black holes — are thought to depend on the mechanism by which these they form. However, black holes in the smallest galaxies can be difficult to find, requiring creative new approaches. I will present recent work showing that long-term optical photometric variability in dwarf galaxies can identify black holes that are missed by other selection techniques. I will also discuss implications for black hole formation and future opportunities for progress with upcoming surveys and facilities.