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Norbert Werner (Stanford University)

Norbert Werner Colloquium: From Supermassive Black Holes to the Large-scale Structure of the Universe

The Australia Telescope National Facility Colloquium
15:00-16:00 Wed 11 Feb 2015

Marsfield Lecture Theatre


I will present recent observational results on the nature and origin of the multi-phase interstellar medium (ISM) in giant elliptical galaxies, and its role in galaxy evolution and in fueling the central supermassive black holes. Our results show that the cold gas in these systems is produced chiefly by thermally unstable cooling from the hot phase, and that active galactic nuclei are likely to play a crucial role in clearing giant elliptical galaxies of their cold gas, keeping them 'red and dead'. Then I will 'zoom out' to the outskirts of galaxy clusters where we also find hints that supermassive black holes played an important role in the distant past. Suzaku observations reveal a remarkably homogeneous distribution of iron out to the virial radius of the nearby Perseus Cluster, requiring that most of the metal enrichment of the intergalactic medium occurred before the cluster formed, probably more than ten billion years ago, during the period of maximal star formation and black ho le activity. Finally, I will talk about the upcoming Astro-H mission which will revolutionize X-ray spectroscopy and our understanding of the dynamics of the intra-cluster medium.


Matthew Kerr

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