A View with AGN Population Studies of the Evolution of Supermassive Black Holes
Richmond University, Virginia
In the centers of active galaxies (AGN) the interaction of infalling matter with supermassive black holes give rises to enormous jets of particles and radiation which shine across space and time as the most luminous sustained objects in the Universe. Different processes occurring in distinct regions near the black hole result in output in different wavebands of light, including radio, visible, infrared, x-ray, and gamma-ray. Current and upcoming large-scale surveys offer the chance to systematically analyze the evolution of AGN output over the history of the Universe in these wavebands, and thus build a more comprehensive picture of what has been happening with supermassive black holes and their environments. This colloquium will discuss some recent progress in this area, including statistical techniques to determine these evolutions given the complicated biases and truncations in multiwavelength astronomical survey data, and the implications for the evolution of AGN and their supermassive black hole engines over billions of years.