Collaborative Research: WoU-MMA: Multi-scale and multi-messenger modeling of jets in active galactic nuclei

Project: Research project

Project Details


The overarching goal of this proposal is to understand the nonlinear connection and feedback between the
large-scale feeding of a supermassive black hole, the relativistic outflows it produces, their the multimessenger
emission, and their feedback loop on black hole’s gas supply. Specifically, the questions we aim to
answer are: (i) How does a supermassive black hole capture gas into its sphere of influence? (ii) How much
of this gas makes it to the black hole? (iii) How does this lead to the launching of relativistic jets? (iv) How
do the jets give rise to neutrinos and high-energy photons? (v) Do the jets modify the black hole feeding
conditions and how?
Understanding how the large-scale flows at black hole feeding scales, the Bondi radius rB, affect the
conditions near the black hole hole, on the scale of the gravitational radius, rg = GMBH=c2 � 10􀀀6rB, is a
challenging enterprise because of the enormous range of length and time scale involved. Indeed, the orbital
time scale at the Bondi radius exceeds that at the black hole by a factor of 109 (1 billion). This enormous
scale separation is the primary reason why no first-principles models of black hole feedback currently exist.
Here, we propose to bridge the gap and address this long-standing problem, for the first time.
We propose to achieve this using a multi-scale approach that combines numerical simulations that span
a wide range of physics processes and length scales. In Sec. 2.1, we focus on the fluid-based description
of the gas flow around the black hole. We discuss how these flows couple to the dissipative plasma microphysics
processes responsible for the acceleration of relativistic particles in the jets in Sec. 2.2 and how
these particles give rise to high-energy and neutrino emission in Sec. 2.3.
Effective start/end date9/1/198/31/22


  • National Science Foundation (AST-1911080)


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