Abstract: Supermassive black holes sit at the centers of all massive galaxies, and yet we fundamentally do not understand where they came from, how they got so big, and how they co-evolve with their host galaxies. What we do know is that the accretion of matter onto these black holes will both grow the black hole, and can release more than enough energy to completely unbind the entire galaxy in which it resides. In this talk, I will present new results on how to probe the inner accretion flow around black holes, where most of the black hole accretion energy is released. We will explore what we can learn from the technique of X-ray reverberation mapping, where X-rays produced close to the black hole reverberate off inflowing gas, allowing us to ’see’ scales beyond the spatial resolution of our telescopes. By measuring reverberation time delays, we can quantify the effects of strongly curved space time and the black hole mass and spin. I will also discuss how we can use transient accretion episodes, such as the Tidal Disruption Events, when a star gets ripped apart from the tidal forces of the black hole, to better probe the causal connection between inflow and outflow in growing black holes.
Hosted by Professor Marcelo Gleiser
Zoom Information: TBA