In this study, we present a detailed, statistical analysis of black hole growth and the evolution of active galactic nuclei (AGN) using cosmological hydrodynamic simulations run down to z = 0. The simulations self-consistently follow radiative cooling, star formation, metal enrichment, black hole growth and associated feedback processes from both Type II/Ia supernovae and AGN. We consider two simulation runs, one with a large comoving volume of (500 Mpc)3 and one with a smaller volume of (68 Mpc)3 but with a factor of almost 20 higher mass resolution. We compare the predicted statistical properties of AGN with results from large observational surveys. Consistently with previous results, our simulations can widely match observed black hole properties of the local Universe. Furthermore, our simulations can successfully reproduce the evolution of the bolometric AGN luminosity function for both the low-luminosity and the high-luminosity end up to z = 3.0, only at z = 1.5-2.5, the low-luminosity end is overestimated by up to 1 dex. In addition, the smaller but higher resolution run is able to match the observational data of the low bolometric luminosity end at higher redshifts z = 3-4. We also perform a direct comparison with the observed soft and hard X-ray luminosity functions of AGN, including an empirical correction for a torus-level obscuration, and find a similarly good agreement. These results nicely demonstrate that the observed `antihierarchical' trend in the AGN number density evolution (i.e. the number densities of luminous AGN peak at higher redshifts than those of faint AGN) is self-consistently predicted by our simulations. Implications of this downsizing behaviour on active black holes, their masses and Eddington ratios are discussed. Overall, the downsizing behaviour in the AGN number density as a function of redshift can be mainly attributed to the evolution of the gas density in the resolved vicinity of a (massive) black hole (which is depleted with evolving time as a consequence of star formation and AGN feedback).

Cosmological simulations of black hole growth: AGN luminosities and downsizing

SARO, Alexandro;BORGANI, STEFANO;
2014

Abstract

In this study, we present a detailed, statistical analysis of black hole growth and the evolution of active galactic nuclei (AGN) using cosmological hydrodynamic simulations run down to z = 0. The simulations self-consistently follow radiative cooling, star formation, metal enrichment, black hole growth and associated feedback processes from both Type II/Ia supernovae and AGN. We consider two simulation runs, one with a large comoving volume of (500 Mpc)3 and one with a smaller volume of (68 Mpc)3 but with a factor of almost 20 higher mass resolution. We compare the predicted statistical properties of AGN with results from large observational surveys. Consistently with previous results, our simulations can widely match observed black hole properties of the local Universe. Furthermore, our simulations can successfully reproduce the evolution of the bolometric AGN luminosity function for both the low-luminosity and the high-luminosity end up to z = 3.0, only at z = 1.5-2.5, the low-luminosity end is overestimated by up to 1 dex. In addition, the smaller but higher resolution run is able to match the observational data of the low bolometric luminosity end at higher redshifts z = 3-4. We also perform a direct comparison with the observed soft and hard X-ray luminosity functions of AGN, including an empirical correction for a torus-level obscuration, and find a similarly good agreement. These results nicely demonstrate that the observed `antihierarchical' trend in the AGN number density evolution (i.e. the number densities of luminous AGN peak at higher redshifts than those of faint AGN) is self-consistently predicted by our simulations. Implications of this downsizing behaviour on active black holes, their masses and Eddington ratios are discussed. Overall, the downsizing behaviour in the AGN number density as a function of redshift can be mainly attributed to the evolution of the gas density in the resolved vicinity of a (massive) black hole (which is depleted with evolving time as a consequence of star formation and AGN feedback).
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11368/2833535
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