Supermassive black holes in the early Universe

F. Melia, T. M. McClintock

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


The recent discovery of the ultraluminous quasar SDSS J010013.02+280225.8 at redshift 6.3 has exacerbated the time compression problem implied by the appearance of supermassive black holes only approximately 900 Myr after the big bang, and only approximately 500 Myr beyond the formation of Pop II and III stars. Aside from heralding the onset of cosmic re-ionization, these first and second generation stars could have reasonably produced the approximately 5-20M-seeds that eventually grew into z approximately 6-7 quasars. But this process would have taken approximately 900 Myr, a timeline that appears to be at odds with the predictions of ACDM without an anomalously high accretion rate, or some exotic creation of approximately 105M-seeds. There is no evidence of either of these happening in the local Universe. In this paper, we show that a much simpler, more elegant solution to the supermassive black hole anomaly is instead to view this process using the age-redshift relation predicted by the Rh =ct Universe, an Friedmann- Robertson-Walker (FRW) cosmology with zero active mass. In this context, cosmic re-ionization lasted from t approximately 883 Myr to approximately 2Gyr (6 - z-15), so approximately 5-20M-black hole seeds formed shortly after re-ionization had begun, would have evolved into approximately 1010M-quasars by z approximately 6-7 simply via the standard Eddington-limited accretion rate. The consistency of these observations with the age- redshift relationship predicted by Rh =ct supports the existence of dark energy; but not in the form of a cosmological constant.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number20150449
JournalProceedings of the Royal Society A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences
Issue number2184
StatePublished - Dec 8 2015


  • Cosmic Evolution
  • Cosmological Theory
  • Dark Energy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Mathematics
  • General Engineering
  • General Physics and Astronomy


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