Accretion, Growth of Supermassive Black Holes, and Feedback in Galaxy Mergers
by Li, Li-Xin
11 pages, 4 figures. Submitted to MNRAS
Super-Eddington accretion is very efficient in growing the mass of a black hole: in a fraction of the Eddington time its mass can grow to an arbitrary large value if the feedback effect is not taken into account. However, since super-Eddington accretion has a very low radiation efficiency, people have argued against it as a major process for the growth of the black holes in quasars since observations have constrained the average accretion efficiency of the black holes in quasars to be $latex \ga 0.1$. In this paper we show that the observational constraint does not need to be violated if the black holes in quasars have undergone a two-phase growing process: with a short super-Eddington accretion process they get their masses inflated by a very large factor until the feedback process becomes important, then with a prolonged sub-Eddington accretion process they have their masses increased by a factor $latex \ga 2$. The overall average efficiency of this two-phase process is then $latex \ga 0.1$, and the existence of black holes of $latex 10^9 M_\odot$ by redshift 6 is easily explained. Observational test of the existence of the super-Eddington accretion phase is briefly discussed.