ASIAA Summer Students Program
ASIAA Summer Student Program 2022
July 1 - August 31

2022 Project Description

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The activity of black hole magnetospheres
This project can be carried out remotely.

Computational Astrophysics
Computer Animations
General relativity
plasma physics
Theoretical Astrophysics
VLBI Observations


Kouichi Hirotani, Hsien Shang
Find out more about supervisors on ASIAA website

Task Description and Goals

When a star has consumed most of its nuclear fuel, it eventually comes to a point in its evolution in which the outward radiation pressure due to nuclear fusions can no longer support the gravitational pull. If the collapsing stellar core has a mass exceeding (approximately) three solar masses, degenerate pressure of neutrons can no longer support its gravitational collapse, leaving a black hole (BH) as an end product of stellar evolution. In addition to these stellar-mass BHs, there are much heavier BHs in the center of galaxies and globular clusters. For example, the Milky Way galaxy has a supermassive BH whose mass attains 4 million solar masses.

In this project, the student will learn the basic skills of black hole research, specifically general relativity and plasma physics, and may learn to play with the GR-PIC (general relativistic Particle-in-Cell) code developed in the CompAS group in ASIAA.

Depending on the academic and technical backgrounds of the student, she/he can get to touch on one or more of the following tasks:
  1. how electron-positron pair plasmas are created, accelerated, and radiate emissions in BH magnetospheres;
  2. compare simulations with the blakhole observations from the recent Event Horizon Telescope and others in radio frequencies;
  3. learn to build visualization tools for simulations.

Required Background

  1. Undergraduate physics and mathematics at junior level.
  2. Special relativity.
  3. Basic skills in computer programing and/or software knowlede would be desirable.

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