• black hole physics;
  • alaxies: active;
  • galaxies: evolution;
  • galaxies: kinematics and dynamics;
  • galaxies: statistics


We propose a classification of supermassive black holes (SMBHs) based on their efficiency in the conversion of infalling mass in emitted radiation. We use a theoretical model that assumes a conservation of angular momentum between the gas falling inside the hole and the photons emitted outwards, and suggests the existence of the scaling relation M-Reσ3, where M is the mass of the central SMBH, whereas Re and σ are the effective radius and velocity dispersion of the host galaxies (bulges), respectively. We apply our model on a data set of 57 galaxies of different morphological types and with M measurements, obtained through the analysis of Spitzer /IRAC 3.6-µ m images. In order to find the best fit of the corresponding scaling law, we use the FITEXY routine to perform a least-squares regression of M on Reσ3 for the considered sample of galaxies. Our analysis shows that the relation is tight and our theoretical model allows to easily estimate the efficiency of mass conversion into radiation of the central SMBHs. Finally we propose a new appealing way to classify the SMBHs in terms of this parameter. (© 2014 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim)