Dr. Richard Plotkin of Nevada-Reno presents "Relativistic Jets from Weakly Accreting Black Holes"
- Friday, April 26, 2019 from 4:10pm to 5:00pm
- Barnard Hall, 103 - view map
Relativistic Jets from Weakly Accreting Black Holes
Professor Richard Plotkin
University of Nevada, Reno
Transient black hole X-ray binaries (BHXBs) are stellar mass black holes that accrete off a companion star. Although these systems go through outburst cycles where their X-ray luminosities increase by several orders of magnitude, they spend the vast majority of their time in a `quiescent’ spectral state, emitting low levels of radiation (L_xray <1e-5 Ledd, where L_edd is the Eddington luminosity). There is growing evidence that quiescent BHXBs can launch compact relativistic jets that emit (relatively) large amounts of synchrotron radiation in the radio waveband. At higher luminosities, in the so-called `hard state' (1e-5 Ledd < L_xray < 1e-2 Ledd), BHXBs appear to always launch compact radio jets. However, there is still uncertainty whether physical properties of jets are different between the hard state and quiescence (e.g., efficiency of particle acceleration, energy equipartition in the jet base, etc). In this talk I will discuss recent multiwavelength observations of transient BHXB systems that bridge the boundary between the hard state and quiescence. I will discuss how our results are yielding new insights into how jets evolve as accretion rate decreases, and the implications for both stellar mass and supermassive black holes in our Galaxy and beyond.
- Department of Physics