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Research Activities > Programs > Matter and Electromagnetic Fields in Strong Gravity

Matter and Electromagnetic Fields in Strong Gravity

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The Mass of Supermassive Black Holes:
New Scaling Relations

Kayhan Gultekin

University of Michigan

Abstract:   We derive improved versions of the relations between supermassive black hole mass (M_BH) and host-galaxy bulge velocity dispersion (sigma) and luminosity (L; the M-sigma and M-L relations), based on 49 M_BH measurements and 19 upper limits. Particular attention is paid to recovery of the intrinsic scatter in both relations. The results for ellipticals are consistent with previous studies, but the intrinsic scatter recovered for spirals is significantly larger. The scatter inferred reinforces the need for its consideration when calculating local black hole mass function based on the M-sigma relation, and further implies that there may be substantial selection bias in studies of the evolution of the M-sigma relation. We also present recent work that examines the relationship among black hole mass, X-ray luminosity, and radio luminosity of the accreting system and consider its use in estimating black hole mass.

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