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Thursday, November 08, 2018
1:00 PM - 2:00 PM
CNLS Conference Room (TA-3, Bldg 1690)


General Relativistic Radiation Magnetohydrodynamic Simulations of Slowly Accreting Black Holes, Particularly M87

Benjamin Ryan

At the lowest mass accretion rates, accretion disks around black holes are too optically thin to radiate an appreciable fraction of their internal energy, most of which is instead advected across the event horizon. These disks are geometrically thick, optically thin, and Coulomb collisionless, with magnetized turbulence probably mediating the accretion flow. General relativistic magnetohydrodynamic simulations capture this turbulence self-consistently in a relativisticbackground, and are now a standard tool for studying these systems and generating synthetic observations. However, as the mass accretion rateincreases, radiative losses from relativistic electrons, especially through synchrotron cooling and Compton upscattering, will increasingly determine the electron temperature. I will present a numerical method, ebhlight, for relativistic radiation magnetohydrodynamics using MonteCarlo transport designed to simulate these systems. Following a discussion of the stationary behavior of these systems as the accretion rate is increased, I will focus on M87, the supermassive black hole at the center of the Virgo cluster. M87, which probably experiences significant radiative losses, is of particular interest because of the Event Horizon Telescope, an earth-scale millimeter interferometer with the ability to resolve the event horizon of this black hole.

Host: Jonas Lippuner