Characterizing Massive Black Holes through Stellar Tidal Disruption
Astronomy and astrophysics
Tuesday 19 August 2014
to 14:00 at
Enrico Ramirez-Ruiz (UC Santa Cruz)
A star interacting with a massive black hole cannot be treated as a point mass if its gets o close to
the black hole that it becomes vulnerable to tidal distortions and even disruption. When a rapidly
changing tidal force starts to compete with a star’s self-gravity, the material of the star responds on
a complicated way. This phenomenon poses an as yet unmet challenge to computer simulations.
The art of modeling the tidal disruption of stars by massive black holes forms the main theme of my talk.
Detailed simulations should tell us what happen when stars of diﬀerent types get tidally disrupted, and
what radiation a distant observer might detect as the observational signature of such events.