Re: Yahoo! News Story - First Black Holes Starved at Birth - Yahoo! News
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Fri Aug 14, 3:46 pm ET
The first black holes in the universe were born starving.
A new study found that the earliest black holes lacked nearby matter to gobble up, and so lay relatively stagnant in pockets of emptiness.
The finding, based on the most detailed computer simulations to date, counters earlier ideas that these first black holes accumulated mass quickly and ballooned into the supermassive black holes that lurk at the centers of many galaxies today.
"It has been speculated that these first black holes were seeds and accreted huge amounts of matter," said the study's leader Marcelo Alvarez, an astrophysicist at the Kavli Institute for Particle Astrophysics and Cosmology in California. "We're just finding out that it could be much more complex than that."
Alvarez and colleagues constructed a computer simulation of the early universe based on measurements of the cosmic background radiation left over from the Big Bang, which scientists think started the universe 13.7 billion years ago. The model used these starting conditions, and the laws of physics, to watch how the universe may have evolved.
The study is detailed in an upcoming issue of The Astrophysical Journal Letters. The Kavli Institute is at the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center (SLAC) National Accelerator Laboratory in Menlo Park, Calif.