Early formation of supermassive black holes via dark matter self-interactions

Research paper by Jeremie Choquette, James M. Cline, Jonathan M. Cornell

Indexed on: 12 Dec '18Published on: 12 Dec '18Published in: arXiv - Astrophysics - Cosmology and Nongalactic Astrophysics


The existence of supermassive black holes at high redshifts ($z\sim7$) is difficult to accommodate in standard astrophysical scenarios. It has been shown that dark matter models with a subdominant self-interacting component are able to produce early seeds for supermassive black holes through the gravothermal catastrophe. Previous studies used a fluid equation approach, requiring some limiting assumptions. Here we reconsider the problem using $N$-body gravitational simulations starting from the formation of the initial dark matter halo. We consider both elastic and dissipative scattering, and elucidate the interplay between the dark matter microphysics and subsequent accretion of the black hole needed to match the properties of observed high redshift supermassive black holes.