Institute of Astronomy

Measuring Black Hole Spin

SpeakerTalk DateTalk Series
Ramesh Narayan, Harvard25 November 2010The Sackler Lectures

Abstract

An astrophysical black hole is completely described with just two parameters: its mass and its dimensionless spin. A few dozen black holes have mass estimates, but until recently none had a reliable spin estimate. In the last few years, our group has measured spin parameters for a small number of black holes in X-ray binaries. The talk will describe the method we use to make these measurements and will discuss implications of the results obtained so far.

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