The Illustris simulation: The evolving population of black holes across cosmic time

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Vogelsberger, M 
Genel, S 
Springel, V 
Torrey, P 

We study the properties of black holes and their host galaxies across cosmic time in the Illustris simulation. Illustris is a large-scale cosmological hydrodynamical simulation which resolves a (106.5Mpc)3volume with more than 12 billion resolution elements and includes state-of-the-art physical models relevant for galaxy formation. We find that the black hole mass density for redshifts z = 0-5 and the black hole mass function at z = 0 predicted by Illustris are in very good agreement with the most recent observational constraints. We show that the bolometric and hard X-ray luminosity functions of active galactic nuclei (AGN) at z = 0 and 1 reproduce observational data very well over the full dynamic range probed. Unless the bolometric corrections are largely underestimated, this requires radiative efficiencies to be on average low, εr≲0.1, noting however that in our model radiative efficiencies are degenerate with black hole feedback efficiencies. Cosmic downsizing of the AGN population is in broad agreement with the findings from X-ray surveys, but we predict a larger number density of faint AGN at high redshifts than currently inferred. We also study black hole-host galaxy scaling relations as a function of galaxy morphology, colour and specific star formation rate. We find that black holes and galaxies co-evolve at the massive end, but for low mass, blue and star-forming galaxies there is no tight relation with either their central black hole masses or the nuclear AGN activity.

methods: numerical, galaxies: formation, quasars: supermassive black holes, cosmology: theory
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Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
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Oxford University Press
Science and Technology Facilities Council (ST/L000725/1)
Science and Technology Facilities Council (ST/M007073/1)
STFC (ST/M007073/1)