Christopher Reynolds, University of Maryland College Park, will present "How Do Black Holes Grow?" on Thursday, March 29th at Noon in Tome 115. Everyone welcome. Free pizza!
Abstract: Some of the most spectacular phenomena in the Universe are powered by gas falling (accreting) into black holes. However, the most basic question of how gas manages to fall into a black hole (shedding its angular momentum in the process) has a remarkably subtle answer. In short, we now know that gas orbiting a black hole in an accretion disk becomes turbulent, and that the turbulence is an essential ingredient in the accretion process. He will describe our current understanding of the physics that drives accretion disks, and show the results of recent supercomputer simulations of this phenomenon. He will proceed to show how, armed with supercomputer simulations; we can begin to understand some of the complex behavior displayed by accreting black holes.