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Editorial: Understanding the Growth of the First Supermassive Black Holes

  • Rosa Valiante (a1), Raffaella Schneider (a1) and Marta Volonteri (a2)

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The formation, assembly history, and environmental impact of the massive black holes (BH) that are ubiquitous in the nuclei of luminous galaxies today remain some of the main unsolved problems in cosmic structure formation. In the last several years, it has become clear that quasars are not just tracers of early and recent structure formation, but that they seem to have actively influenced galaxies and clusters through feedback mechanisms that are still not well understood. The discovery of more and more numerous quasars at redshift above 6, powered by BHs with masses similar to that of their local counterparts, further complicates this scenario. This emphasises the urgent need to better understand how and when such massive objects form and grow, what is the strength and scale of their impact on the evolution of their host galaxies, and what are the main physical processes driving and regulating this co-evolution.

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Editorial: Understanding the Growth of the First Supermassive Black Holes

  • Rosa Valiante (a1), Raffaella Schneider (a1) and Marta Volonteri (a2)

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