Do supermassive black holes stall at ~1 pc?  Or do they merge in a Hubble time?  We are searching for sub-pc binaries in the SDSS to try and answer this question empirically at z~1-2, the peak of quasar activity.

Princeton graduate student Wendy Ju has searched through repeat observations of SDSS quasars looking for radial velocity shifts indicating sub-pc--scale black hole binaries.  We have seven candidates that Princeton undergraduate Eric Bolton is following up now...

One candidate

Residence times 

from simulations

© 2023 by Jenny E. Greene - All rights reserved

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