Context. The seeds of the supermassive black holes with masses of ~109 M⊙ observed already at z ~ 6 may have formed through the direct collapse of primordial gas in Tvir ≳ 104 K halos, whereby the gas must stay hot (~104 K) in order to avoid fragmentation.
Aims: The interplay between magnetic fields, turbulence, and a UV radiation background during the gravitational collapse of primordial gas in a halo is explored; in particular, the possibilities for avoiding fragmentation are examined.
Methods: Using an analytical one-zone model, the evolution of a cloud of primordial gas is followed from its initial cosmic expansion through turnaround, virialization, and collapse up to a density of 107 cm-3.
Results: It was found that in halos with no significant turbulence, the critical UV background intensity (J21crit) for keeping the gas hot is lower by a factor ~10 for an initial comoving magnetic field B0 ~ 2 nG than for the zero-field case, and even lower for stronger fields. In turbulent halos, J21crit is found to be a factor ~10 lower than for the zero-field-zero-turbulence case, and the stronger the turbulence (more massive halo and/or stronger turbulent heating), the lower J21crit.
Conclusions: The reduction in J21crit is particularly important, since it exponentially increases the number of halos exposed to a supercritical radiation background.
- early Universe
- black hole physics
- magnetic fields
- PRIMORDIAL STAR-FORMATION
- 3-FLUID PLASMAS
- DIRECT COLLAPSE
- 1ST STARS