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Probing Quiescent Massive Black Holes: Insights from Tidal Disruption Events
By S. Gezari L. Strubbe J. S. Bloom J. E. Grindlay A. Soderberg M. Elvis P. Coppi A. Lawrence Z. Ivezic DAVID MERRITT S. Komossa J. Halpern M. Eracleous
Published in Science white paper for the Astro2010 Decadal Survey (Saturday, March 7, 2009)


Tidal disruption events provide a unique probe of quiescent black holes in the nuclei of distant galaxies. The next generation of synoptic surveys will yield a large sample of flares from the tidal disruption of stars by massive black holes that will give insights to four key science questions: 1) What is the assembly history of massive black holes in the universe? 2) Is there a population of intermediate mass black holes that are the primordial seeds of supermassive black holes? 3) How can we increase our understanding of the physics of accretion onto black holes? 4) Can we localize sources of gravitational waves from the detection of tidal disruption events around massive black holes and recoiling binary black hole mergers?