Active Galactic Nuclei - Supermassive Black Hole Powered Engines

Dr. Steve Kraemer
Professor, Department of Physics
Director, Institute for Astrophysics and Computational Sciences
The Catholic University of America

Wed, February 7, 2024 - 4:00 PM

kraemer.jpgIt has been shown that most galaxies possess supermassive black holes (SMBHs) at their gravitational centers. The masses of the central bulges in these galaxies scale with their SMBH mass, which suggests co-evolution. When the SMBH is actively accreting matter, the result is an active galactic nucleus, (AGN), which can release tremendous amounts of energy across the entire electro-magnetic spectrum. AGN activity is believed to be the cause of the bulge-SMBH mass relation, and therefore is a critical component of galaxy evolution.

I will review the history of the discovery of AGN, the various characteristics of the phenomenon, and the physical structure of the active regions. Finally, I will present JWST observations of AGN that probe their inner regions in unprecedented detail.

Refreshments served at 3:45 PM

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