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Why do black holes shine?

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If you have a question about this talk, please contact Felice Torrisi.

Black holes possess such strong gravitational fields that nothing, not even light, can escape. Thus, it is initially surprising that some of the most luminous sources in the Universe are powered by black holes. Indeed, black holes are the second most important energy source in the Universe, a close second behind stars. In this talk, I will show how these amazing luminosities are due to gas falling into the black hole. This leads us to the deceptively simple question of “how do I pour gas down a deep hole?”. The answer to this question is anything but straightforward, taking us to the frontiers of knowledge in fluid dynamics, plasma physics and computational physics.

This talk is part of the Darwin College Science Seminars series.

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