Probing the Invisible: Weighing Supermassive Black Holes

Join us as we hear from Prof Martin Bureau (University of Oxford) about his research on Supermassive black holes.

‘Supermassive black holes are now known to lurk at the centre of most
galaxies. They are also believed to play a key role in the evolution
of galaxies, by regulating the supply of the gas necessary to form
stars. Here, I will present key results from the mm-Wave
Interferometric Survey of Dark Object Masses (WISDOM), a high
resolution survey of molecular gas in galaxy nuclei. I will first show
that carbon monoxide (CO) can be used to easily and accurately measure
the mass of these supermassive black holes. I will then discuss
substantial ongoing efforts to do this, and present many new
spectacular measurements from the Atacama Large
Millimeter/sub-millimeter Array (ALMA), the largest ground-based
telescope project. This effort opens the way to literally hundreds of
measurements across galaxies of all morphological types, both active
and non-active, with a unique method. It thus promises to
revolutionise our understanding of the co-evolution of galaxies and
black holes.’

FREE entry

Drinks and snacks provided. (Non-alcoholic and vegetarian/vegan dietary requirements provided for. For other diets please get in touch in advance)

For more information email There is wheelchair access. There is padded seating, and an accessible toilet. There is blue badge parking by request at the event.