TAPIR Seminar

Friday, September 30, 2022
2:00pm to 3:00pm
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Online and In-Person Event
The role of AGN accretion disks in the formation of characteristic, low-frequency GW sources
Andrea Derdzinski, CTAC Postdoctoral Fellow, Institute for Computational Science, University of Zurich,

Hybrid -- To Join via Zoom


Accretion disks in active galactic nuclei (AGN) can enhance the formation of gravitational wave (GW) sources via the interaction of embedded stars and BHs with surrounding gas. This can produce a substantial population of ‘gas-embedded' GW sources across a range of frequencies, including extreme mass ratio inspirals (EMRIs) detectable by space-based detectors such as LISA.  The rates of such sources are poorly constrained due to uncertainties in AGN disk structure, but they may potentially occur at a significant rate compared to other EMRI formation channels.  These sources will be particularly interesting, because interaction with their environment can imprint signatures in the GW signal, allowing us to probe AGN disks solely with GWs. I will present an overview of recent results that demonstrate why we expect these sources to occur, how gas interaction manifests in the GW signal, and what we need to figure out in order to prepare for these detections.

For more information, please contact JoAnn Boyd by phone at 626-395-4280 or by email at joann@caltech.edu.