Formation of supermassive black hole seeds

Muhammad A. Latif, Andrea Ferrara

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

117 Citations (Scopus)


The detection of quasars at z > 6 unveils the presence of supermassive black holes of a few billion solar masses. The rapid formation process of these extreme objects remains a fascinating and open issue. Such discovery implies that seed black holes must have formed early on, and grown via either rapid accretion or BH/galaxy mergers. In this theoretical review, we discuss in detail various BH seed formation mechanisms and the physical processes at play during their assembly.We discuss the three most popular BH formation scenarios, involving the (i) core-collapse of massive stars, (ii) dynamical evolution of dense nuclear star clusters, (iii) collapse of a protogalactic metal free gas cloud. This article aims at giving a broad introduction and an overview of the most advanced research in the field.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere051
JournalPublications of the Astronomical Society of Australia
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • (galaxies:) quasars: supermassive black holes
  • Cosmology: theory
  • Galaxies: high-redshift

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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