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OCA General Meeting
Friday May 13th, 2016, 7:30 PM
Chapman University
Free and open to public more

The Bizarre Variability Patterns of Black Hole Accretion Flows

Black holes represent the most extreme manifestations of Einstein's conception of gravity as the warping of space and time. We now know that they are very common in the universe, from stellar mass black holes orbiting companion stars in binary systems to supermassive black holes at the centers of galaxies, including our own Milky Way galaxy. Thanks to humanity's recent achievement in being able to detect gravitational waves, we even know that double black hole binaries exist! Most of the black holes that we know about have been discovered from radiation emitted by material that is falling in to the hole in what we call an accretion flow or an accretion disk. It turns out that this radiation often exhibits highly ordered variability patterns, including periodicities - black holes sing! I will discuss some of the progress we have made in understanding this, and some of the phenomena that so far have defied explanation.


Omer Blaes

Omer Blaes is a Professor and former Department Chair of the Physics Department at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Although he was born in the US, he did his undergraduate work at the University of London in the UK and his graduate work at the International School for Advanced Studies in Trieste, Italy. After doing postdoctoral work at Caltech and the Canadian Institute for Theoretical Astrophysics in Toronto, he joined the faculty at UCSB in 1993, where he has worked ever since. Professor Blaes is a theoretical astrophysicist with interests in black hole astrophysics and accretion flows in general.


"What's Up?" in this month will be presented by Geovanni Somoza president of Los Angeles Astronomical Society

Pre-meeting Slide Show (~2 MB)
Club Announcements (~2 MB)
Meeting Video (YouTube)

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