The birth of black holes

28 Aug 2010

At ... a paper in Nature purports to have discovered the origin of the universe's first super massive black hole - by computer simulation of dark matter, stars, gas, and black holes. They were born when early galaxies collided and fused together - quite simple really. However, it is not quite simply simple as it means the old hypothesis that gravity draws small pieces of matter together and these then go on to form large structures is - well, redundant. The computer simulation, it is said, shows that big structures built up fairly quickly and therefore the paradox is resolved when it is realised dark matter grows heirachically but ordinary matter does not - but is this a dodge? The simulation, it admits, began with two large primordial galaxies - and the computer was induced to show what might happen if they collided. They merged together - instead of hundreds and hundreds of stars there were many hundreds and hundreds of stars being squeezed in a mincer - or something like that. The super computer provided a high resolution view of what happened next. Gas and dust at the centre of the galaxies condensed to form a tight nuclear disc. When the disc became unstable the gas and dust contracted to form a dense cloud that eventually gave birth to a super massive black hole.