Are Black Holes Fussy Eaters ?
Thanks to new instruments and theoretical advances, we are beginning to probe the regions of relativistic gravity close to black holes. We may soon be able to map out the structures of accretion disks near the event horizon and even measure black hole spins.
All of these advances depend on our interpretation of signals from matter flowing into black holes. But we still face basic uncertainties about the interactions of black holes with their environments. How do they form relativistic jets? And why do some of them seem to absorb matter stealthily, without emitting much radiation? The speaker will give a broad overview of recent astrophysical research on black holes and discuss some new results suggesting that black holes are sometimes reluctant to swallow what's thrown at them.