The Physics of Black Hole Feedback

Project: Research project

Project Details


Observations of tight relationships between the mass of supermassive black holes and the properties of the surrounding bulge of stars indicate that black holes play important roles in galaxy evolution. Recent measurements have furthermore revealed direct evidence for energetic black hole-driven galactic winds.

I will perform numerical simulations designed to understand the physics of black hole feedback, particularly as manifested through these newly-discovered outflows. The simulations will build on recent analytic modeling by the author and address how a fast nuclear wind interacts with a realistic, inhomogeneous interstellar medium, and the effects on galaxies and star formation in them.

The simulations will then be combined with radiative transfer models to develop observational diagnostics that will directly inform studies with several NASA missions, including spectroscopic measurements by Hubble and Herschel, and emission from high-energy particles probed by Planck, Fermi, Chandra, and XMM-Newton.

The Einstein fellowship research budget will fund domestic travel to visit collaborators, international travel to present results, and a high-performance workstation to carry out the numerical calculations necessary to complete the projects.
Effective start/end date9/1/138/31/15


  • Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory (PF3-140106//NAS8-03060)
  • National Aeronautics and Space Administration (PF3-140106//NAS8-03060)


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