How to measure the spin of a black hole – Prof. Christopher Reynolds, Institute of Astronomy, University of Cambridge

When:
November 18, 2020 @ 6:00 pm – 7:30 pm
2020-11-18T18:00:00+00:00
2020-11-18T19:30:00+00:00
Where:
TBC
time TBC as well

As with all astronomical objects, black holes rotate. Black hole spin is an important property to quantify – the spin of a black hole give insights into how it formed, and the rotational energy of a black hole can be tapped to drive (for example) the spectacular relativistic jets that we often see from such systems. But how do you measure the rotation rate of a perfectly round and perfectly black sphere? Here, I shall describe the subtle influences that black hole spin has on its surroundings and how we have turned that understanding into quantitative tools for measuring black hole spin. I will then present results on both the supermassive black holes found in galactic centres and the stellar-mass black holes that litter our galaxy

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