Models of galaxies with central black holes: Simulation methods

Steinn Sigurdsson, Lars Hernquist, Gerald D. Quinlan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

25 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

We present a method for simulating numerically the effect of the adiabatic growth of black holes on the structure of elliptical galaxies. Using a parallel self-consistent field code, we add black holes to N-body realizations of model distribution functions for spherical galaxies, using a continuous mass spectrum. The variable particle mass, combined with a simple multiple time-step integration scheme, makes it possible to evolve the models for many dynamical times with N ∼ 106-108, allowing high spatial and mass resolution. This paper discusses verification of the code using analytic models for spherical galaxies, comparing our numerical results of the effect of central black holes on the structure of the galaxies with previously published models. The intrinsic and projected properties of the final particle distribution, including higher order moments of the velocity distribution, permit comparison with observed characteristics of real galaxies and constrain the masses of any central black holes present in those galaxies. Our technique is promising and is easily extended to axisymmetric and triaxial galaxies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)75-85
Number of pages11
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Volume446
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 10 1995

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galaxies
simulation
particle mass
continuous spectra
elliptical galaxies
mass spectra
self consistent fields
method
velocity distribution
spatial resolution
distribution functions
moments
distribution
high resolution
code
effect
particle
comparison

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science

Cite this

Sigurdsson, Steinn ; Hernquist, Lars ; Quinlan, Gerald D. / Models of galaxies with central black holes : Simulation methods. In: Astrophysical Journal. 1995 ; Vol. 446, No. 1. pp. 75-85.
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Models of galaxies with central black holes : Simulation methods. / Sigurdsson, Steinn; Hernquist, Lars; Quinlan, Gerald D.

In: Astrophysical Journal, Vol. 446, No. 1, 10.06.1995, p. 75-85.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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