Title: Fireworks produced by extreme plasmas near neutron stars and black holes
Abstract: Astrophysical compact objects, neutron stars and black holes, are powerful sources of broad-band non-thermal electromagnetic emission, including coherent radio and high-energy radiation. The collective behavior of relativistic plasmas that produce these emission signatures is still poorly understood. In this talk I will describe a few examples of modeling the observed light coming from these remarkable objects using first-principles numerical simulations. First, I will describe recent progress in understanding the multi-wavelength pulsar emission mechanism, including the long-standing problem of the generation of coherent radio waves. Second, I will discuss how accretion flows around supermassive black holes, such as SgrA* and M87* recently imaged by the Event Horizon Telescope, can produce powerful electromagnetic flares.
Brief bio: Sasha Philippov is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Physics at the University of Maryland, College Park. Prof. Philippov earned his PhD in Astrophysical Sciences from Princeton University in 2017. Before joining the faculty at Maryland in 2022, he spent a year as a NASA Einstein Fellow at University of California, Berkeley and four years at the Flatiron Institute as an Associate Research Scientist. Prof. Philippov is most excited about the theory and modeling of plasmas around black holes and neutron stars. A recent focus of his research group has been understanding mechanisms of coherent radio emission from neutron stars (including Fast Radio Bursts), flares from accreting black holes and merging neutron stars, and particle acceleration in black hole-powered jets.
If you prefer to attend remotely, please email [email protected] ahead of time for the Zoom link.