Friday 14th April 2023 Supermassive Black Holes

How to feed them and what happens when you do

Image is an artist’s impression of a black hole with accretion disc.
Image Credit: XMM-Newton, ESA, NASA

Friday 14th April 2023 7.30 pm in the BRLSI and can be attended remotely on Zoom.

Dr Carolin Villforth
Senior Lecturer, University of Bath

Supermassive black holes are present in the centres of practically all massive galaxies. Through most of their lives they have little impact on their surrounding galaxies. In rare cases, however, gas accretes onto the black hole, turning it into a so called active galactic nucleus. These objects can outshine entire galaxies. I will explain how gas is driven onto supermassive black holes to make them active and how an accreting black hole can impact its host galaxy.

Dr Carolin Villforth is a senior lecturer in the Astrophysics group at University of Bath. Carolin completed her Diplom in Physics at University of Heidelberg in Germany. She obtained her PhD working on variability in accreting black hole systems from University of Turku in Finland. Before moving to Bath, she held research positions at the Nordic Optical Telescope on La Palma, the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore, University of Florida and University of St Andrews. Carolin studies the connection between supermassive black holes and galaxy evolution.

A recording of the lecture is freely available here.