An Observed Fundamental Plane Relation for Supermassive Black Holes

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Hopkins, Philip F.
Hernquist, Lars
Cox, Thomas J.
Robertson, Brant
Krause, Elisabeth
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Abstract
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We study observed correlations between supermassive black hole (BHs) and the properties of their host galaxies, and show that the observations define a BH 'fundamental plane' (BHFP), of the form M_BH sigma^(3.0+-0.3)*R_e^(0.43+-0.19), or M_BH M_bulge^(0.54+-0.17)*sigma^(2.2+-0.5), analogous to the FP of elliptical galaxies. The BHFP is preferred over a simple relation between M_BH and any of sigma, M_bulge, M_dyn, or R_e alone at >99.9% significance. The existence of this BHFP has important implications for the formation of supermassive BHs and the masses of the very largest black holes, and immediately resolves several apparent conflicts between the BH masses expected and measured for outliers in both the M_BH-sigma and M_BH-M_bulge relations.
Comment: 7 pages, 4 figures, accepted to ApJ. Companion paper to astro-ph/0701351
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Astrophysics
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