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Tuning in to the feedback bassline: revealing the operation of AGNs in galaxy clusters with high-resolution radio observations

Following the Big Bang, structure in the Universe started collapsing under the force of gravity. This resulted in the formation of the first stars, galaxies and clusters of galaxies.

R. Timmerman
22 november 2023
Thesis in Leiden Repository

The majority of the baryonic mass in a galaxy cluster is part of the hot intracluster medium, which permeates the entire cluster As this medium cools down, it accretes onto the central galaxies where it triggers the formation of new stars. However, it also feeds the central supermassive black hole, creating an active galactic nucleus (AGN) that injects a large amount of energy into the intracluster medium again, resulting in a feedback cycle. This feedback cycle is an essential ingredient in the formation and evolution of galaxies. Using new high-resolution radio observations taken with the LOw Frequency ARray (LOFAR), we study AGN feedback in galaxy clusters in unprecedented detail, gaining insight into both the duty cycle of the AGN as well as the energy budget of the feedback cycle.

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