Catastrophic Galaxy Collisions and the Birth of Quasars
My research interests are in the evolution of some of the brightest galaxies in the universe, the quasars. Those galaxies harbor active supermassive black holes at their centers. In those so-called Active Galactic Nuclei, gas and matter falling into the gravitational potential of the black hole is responsible for the extreme luminosity of the nucleus, which often outshines the entire galaxy itself. How and why some galaxies have active nuclei is a question of fervent scientific research. Recent findings strongly suggest that violent collisions between normal spiral galaxies might be responsible for fueling the nucleus and igniting the quasar. In my talk, I will present our current knowledge of quasars, the leading models which attempt to explain the observations, and how my particular research contributes to our understanding of quasar formation.
Is a Ph.D. candidate in Physics at University of California Riverside. Her CV is available here.
"What's Up?" in this month will be presented by Craig Bobchin