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Relativistic jets from black holes: connections to gravitational waves and neutrinos

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Talk Abstract

Relativistic jets from black holes, highly collimated outflows of matter and energy travelling at close to the speed of light, remain a poorly understood phenomenon despite a century of study. What is clear is that they are ubiquitously associated with accreting black holes across the mass spectrum, and can at times carry away a large fraction of the liberated gravitational potential energy. Their key signature is synchrotron emission, usually observed in the radio band. In this talk I will outline the most exciting recent developments, including the relativistic outflows associated with the LIGO -Virgo neutron star merger event GW170817 and the candidate neutrino source Tidal Disruption Event AT2019dsg.

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Speaker Information

Professor Rob Fender is currently head of the Astrophysics sub-department within the broader Physics department, at the University of Oxford.

His particular research interests are in the areas of accretion and feedback around relativistic objects, mostly advanced via observations with radio telescopes such as AMI -LA, e-MERLIN and MeerKAT. As well as targeted studies, He is also involved in wide field commensal searches for radio transients.

Previously he was Professor of Physics at The University of Southampton, and prior to that Universitair Hoofddocent at the Universiteit van Amsterdam. He has been a Visiting Professor at The University of Grenoble, and since 2010 hold a position as a Visiting SKA Professor at The University of Cape Town.

Amongst other highlights, he led the national collaboration via which the UK joined the LOFAR project, was awarded in 2011 an ERC Advanced Investigator Grant, was chair of the SKA Transients Science Working Group, and was awarded the 2020 Herschel Medal of the Royal Astronomical Society for “investigations of outstanding merit in observational astrophysics”, mainly in recognition of his work on accretion around black holes and the connection to relativistic jets.

He is also a recipient of the Philip Leverhulme Prize, a Marie Curie Fellowship, an NWO VIDI prize, and a Leverhulme Senior Research Fellowship.

In 2021 he became the co-lead of the next-generation Event Horizon Telescope (ngEHT) working group on Astrophysical Transients.

This talk is part of the Cambridge University Astronomical Society (CUAS) series.

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