Black holes are the simplest and the most compact objects that exist in the universe. Their ability to trap and prevent both matter and radiation from escaping their gravitational pull is unparalleled. However, observations of black holes show a strikingly different picture. Besides accreting and consuming matter, focused streams of matter called ‘jets’ are seen flowing outwards from the vicinity of black holes. Many of these jets flow at speeds comparable to the speed of light and are observed to emit across the entire electromagnetic spectrum – from radio waves all the way to gamma rays, indicating the presence of energetic particles. The goal of this project is to use the laws of physics to understand and explore the extreme conditions leading black holes to propel and energize jets. The project involves learning magnetohydrodynamics (MHD), the theory of how magnetic fields influence the fluid flow. To study and understand the vital role magnetic fields play in launching jets in black hole environments - the student will learn how to combine General Relativity (GR) and MHD – leading to GRMHD equations that describe matter in the vicinity of black holes. This project involves developing analytical and computational skills along with collaboration with peers and supervisors. Skills learnt during this project will prime the student for a future career in physics / astrophysics and in many other areas.
OBJECTIVE: The student will develop and use state of the art semi-analytical methods to solve this complex system of GRMHD equations. The obtained solutions hold the key to understand the conditions that enable black holes to launch, propel, and energize matter to relativistic energies!
PREREQUISITES: Basic knowledge of General Relativity (coursework would suffice) is required. Some experience with MHD and coding experience (in C++, Python) would be preferred.
RESOURCES: If necessary, login access to one of our group computers