Kelly Holley-Bockelmann

Fisk University, Nashville, Tennessee, United States

Are you Kelly Holley-Bockelmann?

Claim your profile

Publications (68)162.95 Total impact

  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The third generation of the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS-III) took data from 2008 to 2014 using the original SDSS wide-field imager, the original and an upgraded multi-object fiber-fed optical spectrograph, a new near-infrared high-resolution spectrograph, and a novel optical interferometer. All the data from SDSS-III are now made public. In particular, this paper describes Data Release 11 (DR11) including all data acquired through 2013 July, and Data Release 12 (DR12) adding data acquired through 2014 July (including all data included in previous data releases), marking the end of SDSS-III observing. Relative to our previous public release (DR10), DR12 adds one million new spectra of galaxies and quasars from the Baryon Oscillation Spectroscopic Survey (BOSS) over an additional 3000 sq. deg of sky, more than triples the number of H-band spectra of stars as part of the Apache Point Observatory (APO) Galactic Evolution Experiment (APOGEE), and includes repeated accurate radial velocity measurements of 5500 stars from the Multi-Object APO Radial Velocity Exoplanet Large-area Survey (MARVELS). The APOGEE outputs now include measured abundances of 15 different elements for each star. In total, SDSS-III added 5200 sq. deg of ugriz imaging; 155,520 spectra of 138,099 stars as part of the Sloan Exploration of Galactic Understanding and Evolution 2 (SEGUE-2) survey; 2,497,484 BOSS spectra of 1,372,737 galaxies, 294,512 quasars, and 247,216 stars over 9376 sq. deg; 618,080 APOGEE spectra of 156,593 stars; and 197,040 MARVELS spectra of 5,513 stars. Since its first light in 1998, SDSS has imaged over 1/3 the Celestial sphere in five bands and obtained over five million astronomical spectra.
    01/2015;
  • Source
    Daniel J. Sissom, Kelly Holley-Bockelmann, Manodeep Sinha
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: We study the structure and evolution of dark matter halos from z = 300 to z = 6 for two cosmological N-body simulation initialization techniques. While the second order Lagrangian perturbation theory (2LPT) and the Zel'dovich approximation (ZA) both produce accurate present day halo mass functions, earlier collapse of dense regions in 2LPT can result in larger mass halos at high redshift. We explore the differences in dark matter halo mass and concentration due to initialization method through three 2LPT and three ZA initialized cosmological simulations. We find that 2LPT induces more rapid halo growth, resulting in more massive halos compared to ZA. This effect is most pronounced for high mass halos and at high redshift. Halo concentration is, on average, largely similar between 2LPT and ZA, but retains differences when viewed as a function of halo mass. For both mass and concentration, the difference between typical individual halos can be very large, highlighting the shortcomings of ZA-initialized simulations for high-z halo population studies.
    12/2014;
  • Source
    Baile Li, Kelly Holley-Bockelmann, Fazeel Khan
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: It is known that two supermassive black holes (SMBHs) cannot merge in a spherical galaxy within a Hubble time; an emerging picture is that galaxy geometry, rotation, and large potential perturbations may usher the SMBH binary through the critical three-body scattering phase and ultimately drive the SMBH to coalesce. We explore the orbital content within an N-body model of a mildly- flattened, non-rotating, SMBH-embedded elliptical galaxy. When used as the foundation for a study on the SMBH binary coalescence, the black holes bypassed the binary stalling often seen within spherical galaxies and merged on Gyr timescales (Khan et al. 2013). Using both frequency-mapping and angular momentum criteria, we identify a wealth of resonant orbits in the axisymmetric model, including saucers, that are absent from an otherwise identical spherical system and that can potentially interact with the binary. We quantified the set of orbits that could be scattered by the SMBH binary, and found that the axisymmetric model contained nearly seven times the number of these potential loss cone orbits compared to our equivalent spherical model. In this flattened model, the mass of these orbits is roughly 3 times of that of the SMBH, which is consistent with what the SMBH binary needs to scatter to transition into the gravitational wave regime.
    12/2014;
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The evolving Laser Interferometer Space Antenna (eLISA) will revolutionize our understanding of the formation and evolution of massive black holes along cosmic history by probing massive black hole binaries in the $10^3-10^7$ solar mass range out to redshift $z\gtrsim 10$. High signal-to-noise ratio detections of $\sim 10-100$ binary coalescences per year will allow accurate measurements of the parameters of individual binaries (such as their masses, spins and luminosity distance), and a deep understanding of the underlying cosmic massive black hole parent population. This wealth of unprecedented information can lead to breakthroughs in many areas of physics, including astrophysics, cosmology and fundamental physics. We review the current status of the field, recent progress and future challenges.
    10/2014;
  • Source
    Yohai Meiron, Baile Li, Kelly Holley-Bockelmann, Rainer Spurzem
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: We present GPU implementations of two fast force calculation methods, based on series expansions of the Poisson equation. One is the Self-Consistent Field (SCF) method, which is a Fourier-like expansion of the density field in some basis set; the other is the Multipole Expansion (MEX) method, which is a Taylor-like expansion of the Green's function. MEX, which has been advocated in the past, has not gained as much popularity as SCF. Both are particle-field method and optimized for collisionless galactic dynamics, but while SCF is a "pure" expansion, MEX is an expansion in just the angular part; it is thus capable of capturing radial structure easily, where SCF needs a large number of radial terms. We show that despite the expansion bias, these methods are more accurate than direct techniques for the same number of particles. The performance of our GPU code, which we call ETICS, is profiled and compared to a CPU implementation. On the tested GPU hardware, a full force calculation for one million particles took ~ 0.1 seconds (depending on expansion cutoff), making simulations with as many as $10^8$ particles fast on a comparatively small number of nodes.
    The Astrophysical Journal 06/2014; 792(2). · 6.28 Impact Factor
  • Source
    Fazeel Khan, Kelly Holley-Bockelmann, Peter Berczik
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Although supermassive black holes (SMBHs) correlate well with their host galaxies, there is an emerging view that outliers exist. Henize 2-10, NGC 4889, and NGC1277 are examples of SMBHs at least an order of magnitude more massive than their host galaxy suggests. The dynamical effects of such ultramassive central black holes is unclear. Here, we perform direct N-body simulations of mergers of galactic nuclei where one black hole is ultramassive to study the evolution of the remnant and the black hole dynamics in this extreme regime. We find that the merger remnant is axisymmetric near the center, while near the large SMBH influence radius, the galaxy is triaxial. The SMBH separation shrinks rapidly due to dynamical friction, and quickly forms a binary black hole; if we scale our model to the most massive estimate for the NGC1277 black hole, for example, the timescale for the SMBH separation to shrink from nearly a kiloparsec to less than a parsec is roughly 10 Myr. By the time the SMBHs form a hard binary, gravitational wave emission dominates, and the black holes coalesce in a mere few Myr. Curiously, these extremely massive binaries appear to nearly bypass the 3-body scattering evolutionary phase. Our study suggests that in this extreme case, SMBH coalescence is governed by dynamical friction followed nearly directly by gravitational wave emission, resulting in an rapid and efficient SMBH coalescence timescale. We discuss the implications for gravitational wave event rates and hypervelocity star production.
    05/2014;
  • Source
    Meagan Lang, Kelly Holley-Bockelmann, Manodeep Sinha
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Recently, both simulations and observations have revealed that flybys - fast, one-time interactions between two galaxy halos - are surprisingly common, nearing/comparable to galaxy mergers. Since these are rapid, transient events with the closest approach well outside the galaxy disk, it is unclear if flybys can transform the galaxy in a lasting way. We conduct collisionless N-body simulations of three co-planer flyby interactions between pure-disk galaxies to take a first look at the effects flybys have on disk structure, with particular focus on stellar bar formation. We find that some flybys are capable of inciting a bar with bars forming in both galaxies during our 1:1 interaction and in the secondary during our 10:1 interaction. The bars formed have ellipticities >0.5, sizes on the order of the host disk's scale length, and persist to the end of our simulations, ~5 Gyr after pericenter. The ability of flybys to incite bar formation implies that many processes associated with secular bar evolution may be more closely tied with interactions than previously though.
    05/2014;
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The relation of central black hole mass and stellar spheroid velocity dispersion (the M-$\sigma$ relation) is one of the best-known and tightest correlations linking black holes and their host galaxies. There has been much scrutiny concerning the difficulty of obtaining accurate black hole measurements, and rightly so; however, it has been taken for granted that measurements of velocity dispersion are essentially straightforward. We examine five disk galaxies from cosmological SPH simulations and find that line-of-sight effects due to galaxy orientation can affect the measured $\sigma$ by 30%, and consequently black hole mass predictions by up to 1.0 dex. Face-on orientations correspond to systematically lower velocity dispersion measurements, while more edge-on orientations give higher velocity dispersions, due to contamination by disk stars when measuring line of sight quantities. We caution observers that the uncertainty of velocity dispersion measurements is at least 20 km/s, and can be much larger for moderate inclinations. This effect may account for some of the scatter in the locally measured M-$\sigma$ relation, particularly at the low-mass end.
    Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society 05/2014; 445(3). · 5.23 Impact Factor
  • Meagan Lang, Kelly Holley-Bockelmann, Manodeep Sinha
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Recently, both simulations and observations have revealed that flybys - fast, one-time interactions between two galaxy halos - are surprisingly common, nearing/comparable to galaxy mergers. Since these are rapid, transient events with the closest approach well outside the galaxy disk, it is unclear if flybys can transform the galaxy in a lasting way. We conduct collisionless N-body simulations of three co-planer flyby interactions between pure-disk galaxies to take a first look at the effects flybys have on disk structure, with particular focus on stellar bar formation. We find that some flybys are capable of inciting a bar with bars forming in both galaxies during our 1:1 interaction and in the secondary during our 10:1 interaction. The bars formed have ellipticities >0.5, sizes on the order of the host disk's scale length, and persist to the end of our simulations, ~5 Gyr after pericenter. The ability of flybys to incite bar formation implies that many processes associated with secular bar evolution may be more closely tied with interactions than previously though.
    The Astrophysical Journal Letters 04/2014; 790(2). · 5.60 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: We measure the 3-D two-point correlation function statistic of G-dwarf stars in the Milky Way. The G-dwarf sample is constructed from SDSS SEGUE data by Schlesinger et al. (2012). We find that the shapes of the correlation functions along individual SEGUE lines of sight depend sensitively on both the stellar density gradients and the survey geometry. We compare these SEGUE measurements with mock measurements from smooth disk galaxy models to obtain strong constraints on the thin and thick disk components of the Milky Way.
    02/2014;
  • The Astrophysical Journal 01/2014; 782(1). · 6.28 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The scaling relation of central black hole mass and spheroid velocity dispersion (M-Sigma relation) is one of the best-known and tightest correlations regarding black holes and their host galaxies. There has been much scrutiny concerning the difficulty of obtaining accurate black hole measurements, and rightly so; however, it has been taken for granted that measurements of velocity dispersion are essentially straightforward. We examine five Milky Way-like disk galaxies from cosmological SPH simulations and find that line-of-sight effects due to galaxy orientation can affect the value of Sigma by up to 30%, and consequently black hole mass estimates by 0.6 - 1.0 dex. Face-on orientations correspond to systematically lower velocity dispersion measurements, while more edge-on orientations give higher velocity dispersions. This effect may account for some of the scatter in the locally measured M-Sigma relation.
    01/2014;
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: We identify candidate hypervelocity stars from the Sloan Extension for Galactic Understanding and Exploration (SEGUE) G and K dwarf samples. Previous searches for hypervelocity stars have only focused on large radial velocities; in this study we also use proper motions to select the candidates. We determine the hypervelocity likelihood of each candidate, considering the significant errors often associated with high proper motion stars via Monte Carlo simulations. Using the observed 6-d positions and velocities, we also calculate the orbits of these candidates in order to determine their place of origin within the Galaxy.
    01/2014;
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: We identify 13 candidate hypervelocity stars from the Sloan Extension for Galactic Understanding and Exploration (SEGUE) G and K dwarf samples. Previous searches for hypervelocity stars have only focused on large radial velocities; in this study we also use proper motions to select the candidates. We determine the hypervelocity likelihood of each candidate, considering the significant errors often associated with high proper motion stars via Monte Carlo simulations. We find that more than half of the candidates exceed their escape velocities with at least 90% probability. All of our candidates also have less than a 60% chance of being a high velocity fluke within the SEGUE sample. Based on orbits calculated using the observed 6-d positions and velocities, few, if any, of these candidates originate from the Galactic Center. If these candidates are truly hypervelocity stars, they were not ejected by interactions with the Milky Way's supermassive black hole. This calls for a more serious examination of alternative hypervelocity star ejection scenarios.
    The Astrophysical Journal 08/2013; 780(1). · 6.28 Impact Factor
  • Source
    Fazeel Mahmood Khan, Kelly Holley-Bockelmann
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: During a galaxy merger, the supermassive black hole (SMBH) in each galaxy is thought to sink to the center of the potential and form a supermassive black hole binary; this binary can eject stars via 3-body scattering, bringing the SMBHs ever closer. In a static spherical galaxy model, the binary stalls at a separation of about a parsec after ejecting all the stars in its loss cone -- this is the well-known final parsec problem. Earlier work has shown that the centrophilic orbits in triaxial galaxy models are key in refilling the loss cone at a high enough rate to prevent the black holes from stalling. However, the evolution of binary SMBHs has never been explored in axisymmetric galaxies, so it is not clear if the final parsec problem persists in these systems. Here we use a suite of direct N-body simulations to follow SMBH binary evolution in galaxy models with a range of ellipticity. For the first time, we show that mere axisymmetry can solve the final parsec problem; we find the the SMBH evolution is independent of N for an axis ratio of c/a=0.8, and that the SMBH binary separation reaches the gravitational radiation regime for c/a=0.75.
    The Astrophysical Journal 02/2013; 773(2). · 6.28 Impact Factor
  • Keivan Stassun, K. Holley-Bockelmann, A. A. Berlind
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: We briefly review the current status of underrepresented minorities in the physical sciences: The underrepresentation of Black-, Hispanic-, and Native-Americans is an order of magnitude problem. We then describe the Fisk-Vanderbilt Masters-to-PhD Bridge program as a successful model for effective partnerships with minority-serving institutions toward addressing this problem. Since 2004 the program has admitted 60 students, 54 of them underrepresented minorities (60% female), with a retention rate of 92%. The program leads the nation in master’s degrees in physics for African Americans, is one of the top ten producers of physics master’s degrees among all US citizens in general, and has become the nation’s top producer of underrepresented minority PhDs in physics, astronomy, and materials science. We summarize the main features of the program including two of its core strategies: (1) partnering a minority-serving institution and a major research university through collaborative research, and (2) using the master’s degree as a deliberate stepping stone to the PhD. We also specifically discuss one of the emerging core theories of the program: the concept of properly identifying students with 'unrealized or unrecognized potential'. We discuss our methods to recognize and select for unrealized potential during the admissions process, and how we cultivate that unrealized potential toward development of successful scientists and leaders.
    01/2013;
  • Benjamin Wibking, K. Holley-Bockelmann, A. A. Berlind
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: We are currently upgrading a version of Gadget2 (Springel et al., 2005) that is optimized for NVIDIA's CUDA GPU architecture (Frigaard, unpublished) to work with the latest libraries and graphics cards. Preliminary tests of its performance indicate a ~40x speedup in the particle force tree approximation calculation, with overall speedup of 5-10x for cosmological simulations run with GPUs compared to running on the same CPU cores without GPU acceleration. We believe this speedup can be reasonably increased by an additional factor of two with futher optimization, including overlap of computation on CPU and GPU. Tests of single-precision GPU numerical fidelity currently indicate accuracy of the mass function and the spectral power density to within a few percent of extended-precision CPU results with the unmodified form of Gadget. Additionally, we plan to test and optimize the GPU code for Millenium-scale "grand challenge" simulations of >10^9 particles, a scale that has been previously untested with this code, with the aid of the NSF XSEDE flagship GPU-based supercomputing cluster codenamed "Keeneland." Current work involves additional validation of numerical results, extending the numerical precision of the GPU calculations to double precision, and evaluating performance/accuracy tradeoffs. We believe that this project, if successful, will yield substantial computational performance benefits to the N-body research community as the next generation of GPU supercomputing resources becomes available, both increasing the electrical power efficiency of ever-larger computations (making simulations possible a decade from now at scales and resolutions unavailable today) and accelerating the pace of research in the field.
    01/2013;
  • Source
    Kelly Holley-Bockelmann, John H. Wise, Manodeep Sinha
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: We explore structure formation in the dark ages ($z\sim 30-6$) using two well-known methods for initializing cosmological $N$-body simulations. Overall, both the Zel'dovich approximation (\za) and second order Lagrangian perturbation theory (\lpt) are known to produce accurate present-day dark matter halo mass functions. However, since the \lpt method drives more rapid evolution of dense regions, it increases the occurrence of rare massive objects -- an effect that is most pronounced at high redshift. We find that \lpt produces more halos that could harbor Population III stars and their black hole remnants, and they produce them earlier. Although the differences between the \lpt and \za mass functions are nearly erased by $z=6$, this small boost to the number and mass of black holes more than doubles the reionized volume of the early Universe. We discuss the implications for reionization and massive black hole growth.
    The Astrophysical Journal Letters 11/2012; 761(1). · 5.60 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: We present a wide (8.5x6.7 degree, 1050x825 kpc), deep (sigma(N_HI)=10^(16.8-17.5) cm^-2) neutral hydrogen (HI) map of the M101 galaxy group. We identify two new HI sources in the group environment, one an extremely low surface brightness (and hitherto unknown) dwarf galaxy, and the other a starless HI cloud, possibly primordial in origin. Our data show that M101's extended HI envelope (Huchtmeier & Witzel 1979) takes the form of a ~100 kpc long tidal loop or plume of HI extending to the southwest of the galaxy. The plume has an HI mass ~ 10^8 Msun and a peak column density of N_HI=5x10^17 cm^-2, and while it rotates with the main body of M101, it shows kinematic peculiarities suggestive of a warp or flaring out of the rotation plane of the galaxy. We also find two new HI clouds near the plume with masses ~ 10^7 Msun, similar to HI clouds seen in the M81/M82 group, and likely also tidal in nature. Comparing to deep optical imaging of the M101 group, neither the plume nor the clouds have any extended optical counterparts down to a limiting surface brightness of mu_B = 29.5. We also trace HI at intermediate velocities between M101 and NGC 5474, strengthening the case for a recent interaction between the two galaxies. The kinematically complex HI structure in the M101 group, coupled with the optical morphology of M101 and its companions, suggests that the group is in a dynamically active state that is likely common for galaxies in group environments.
    The Astrophysical Journal 10/2012; 761(2). · 6.28 Impact Factor
  • K. M. Chynoweth, K. Holley-Bockelmann, G. I. Langston, F. J. Lockman
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: We present GBT neutral hydrogen observations of two nearby galaxy groups. The M 81/M 82 and NGC 2403 groups represent opposite ends of the range in intensity of galaxy interactions, and have remarkably different properties in Hi. We have discovered 5 new Hi clouds in the highly interacting M 81/M 82 group of galaxies. Based on the velocity and angular distributions of these clouds, we conclude that they are relics of ongoing interactions between galaxies in the group. In contrast, the non-interacting NGC 2403 galaxy group shows no signs of Hi clouds or faint, extended Hi. We also detect a compact Hi cloud at v = -205 km s-1, which we believe to be part of HVC Complex A. Our observations suggest that the number density of Hi clouds in galaxy groups is strongly correlated with the level and age of ongoing galaxy interactions in the group.
    EAS Publications Series 09/2012; 56:275-279.

Publication Stats

422 Citations
162.95 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 2014
    • Fisk University
      Nashville, Tennessee, United States
  • 2007–2014
    • Vanderbilt University
      • Department of Physics and Astronomy
      Нашвилл, Michigan, United States
  • 2013
    • Government College University, Lahore
      • Department of Physics
      Lāhaur, Punjab, Pakistan
  • 2001–2008
    • Case Western Reserve University
      • Department of Astronomy
      Cleveland, OH, United States
  • 1999–2008
    • Pennsylvania State University
      • Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics
      University Park, Maryland, United States
  • 1998–1999
    • University of Michigan
      • Department of Astronomy
      Ann Arbor, Michigan, United States