Project C

Applying particle simulations to probe the environment around active black holes

Xavier Rodrigues & Martina Karl

(email advisors)

Active galactic nuclei (AGN) are among the most powerful objects in the Universe. These supermassive black holes in the heart of some galaxies act as cosmic particle accelerators, millions of times more powerful than any human-made collider. 

The optical picture of AGN, captured by observatories like ESO, is now complemented by a growing array of multi-wavelength telescopes, located across the globe and aboard space satellites. However, the environment close to the black hole remains difficult to observe directly, and the physical conditions in these systems are a matter of hot debate. 

The student will theoretically model a rare sub-class of extremely bright AGN in this project. They will simulate particle interactions using a cutting-edge open-source numerical code in Python, and optimise the model by fitting the predicted emission to optical, X-ray, and gamma-ray observations. The results will be used to constrain the dense environment surrounding these extreme objects. 

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