Editors: Pau Amaro-Seoane & Bernard Schutz
The last GW Note is a Special Issues on eLISA/NGO

The Formation of the First Massive Black Holes


by Haiman, Zoltán
47 pages with 306 references; this review is a chapter in “The First Galaxies – Theoretical Predictions and Observational Clues”, Springer Astrophysics and Space Science Library, Eds. T. Wiklind, V. Bromm & B. Mobasher, in press

Supermassive black holes (SMBHs) are common in local galactic nuclei, and SMBHs as massive as several billion solar masses already exist at redshift z=6. These earliest SMBHs may grow by the combination of radiation-pressure-limited accretion and mergers of stellar-mass seed BHs, left behind by the first generation of metal-free stars, or may be formed by more rapid direct collapse of gas in rare special environments where dense gas can accumulate without first fragmenting into stars. This chapter offers a review of these two competing scenarios, as well as some more exotic alternative ideas. It also briefly discusses how the different models may be distinguished in the future by observations with JWST, (e)LISA and other instruments.

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