Astronomy Colloquium for 2022-09-28

Series: Astronomy Colloquium
Date: Wednesday 28-Sep-2022
Time: 16:05-17:00 (4:05-5:00 pm)
Location: ATL 2400
Speaker: Yuhan Yao (Caltech)
Title: Tidal Disruption Events: Probes of Accretion Physics and Black Hole Demographics

Fundamental open questions about black holes (BHs) remain in astrophysics. For example, there is a dearth of information about the existence and demographics of intermediate-mass BHs (IMBHs), and BH super-Eddington accretion is observationally poorly characterized. Over the past few years, time domain sky surveys such as the Zwicky Transient Facility (ZTF) optical camera and the Spektrum-Roentgen-Gamma X-ray satellite have led to a resurgence of tidal disruption event (TDE) discoveries in galaxy centers. In this talk, I will present observational advances of TDEs across the electromagnetic spectrum and with multiple messengers. I will highlight how detailed studies of two ZTF-discovered TDEs (AT2021ehb and AT2022cmc) have helped us understand the inflow geometry and relativistic outflow launching under super-Eddington accretion. The era of TDE studies will continue to be exuberant as the Vera C. Rubin Observatory LSST survey comes online in 2023. I will describe the opportunities and challenges in inferring the local BH mass function down to the IMBH regime with future TDE sample studies.

Colloquia for the Fall 2020 semester will be held on zoom. Contact Dr. Leslie Sage for details.

Colloquium Organizer: Dr. Leslie Sage


Special accommodations for individuals with disabilities can be made by calling (301) 405-3001. It would be appreciated if we are notified at least one week in advance.


Directions and information about parking can be found here.

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