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Special Seminar



X-ray Timing and Spectral Studies of High-Energy Astrophysical Transients
DJ Pasham (MIT)

Several new extra-galactic transient phenomena have been discovered in the last couple of decades. These include, for example, the flares resulting from tidal disruption of stars by super-massive black holes, superluminous supernovae, and ultraluminous X-ray sources. These powerful events provide a unique means to address some of the biggest puzzles in high-energy astrophysics, i.e., ”what is the nature of black holes and how do they dictate galaxy evolution”. Currently, a majority of these transients are discovered via optical sky surveys and a systematic follow-up in the X-rays is a largely unexplored industry. In this talk, I will demonstrate the importance of X-ray follow-up by describing a few of our recent results based on data from existing X-ray telescopes, and simulations based on expected performance of future X-ray missions like XRISM and Athena. I will argue that X-ray timing, spectroscopy and time-resolved spectroscopy of several of these transients could allow us to pin down how super-massive black holes grew since the Big Bang, and how they launch jets and outflows that can alter their host galaxies. I will also describe our attempts with NICER, Swift and TESS telescopes to identify newly formed compact objects in superluminous supernovae. I will end the talk by discussing a few of the NICER related instrumentation projects that I carried out along with the MIT detector team.

Date September 09, 2019
Start/End Time 04:00 PM - 05:00 PM
Location B34, E215
Event Type Seminars/Colloquia
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