Institute of Astronomy

Accreting black holes: Welcome to the feast!

SpeakerTalk DateWeekly Handout
Matt Middleton9 December 2015
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Talk Summary

Black holes represent the most exotic mathematical expression of Einstein's general relativity, this year marking 100 years since it's inception. In the intervening century, many bright objects shining in our Galaxy and throughout the Universe have been identified as black holes, gorging on material which has strayed into their gravitational maw. But it turns out, for all their mathematical elegance, black holes are extremely messy (and rude) eaters - producing copious amounts of wind and spitting material out in the form of jets moving close to the speed of light. These 'outflows' interact with their local environment, irrevocably changing its chemistry. I will discuss how we see and study these systems and what these outflows could mean for our understanding of the Universe.

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