Through the Kaleidoscope: Supermassive Black Holes and their Hosts

Krista Smith
Southern Methodist University
Tuesday, December 8, 2020
2:00 pm
Zoom Seminar
Active galactic nuclei, the most luminous non-transient sources of energy in the universe, are powered by the accretion of matter onto supermassive black holes. They provide unique laboratories for violent physical processes like stellar tidal disruption, highly relativistic jets, and turbulent accretion flows. In the fifty years since their discovery active galaxies have been observed across the entire electromagnetic spectrum. A thorough understanding of these fascinating objects and their profound effect on galaxy evolution now depends upon synthesizing observations across many wavelengths and understanding their time evolution. In particular, high-resolution radio imaging surveys of outflows and star formation, simultaneous light curves from optical to gamma rays, and timing observations with breakthrough instruments like the Kepler and TESS exoplanet-hunting missions have provided new intersectional insights and promise a fertile new temporal phase space for exploring the detailed phenomenology and cosmological implications of active galactic nuclei.
Aaron Barth