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Session 45 - The Structure and Evolution of The Universe - II.
Topical, Oral session, Tuesday, June 09

[45.02] Supermassive Black Holes

M. C. Begelman (JILA, University of Colorado)

The SEU portfolio of missions will provide unique opportunities for studying the "strong gravity" regions just outside the event horizons of supermassive black holes. High throughput X-ray spectral and timing measurements will allow us to probe the geometry and energetics of accretion flows as they begin their final plunges into oblivion. I will demonstrate how we can use X-ray reverberation studies, exploiting the strong fluorescence lines of iron, to "map" the innermost regions of accretion disks and their coronae, and possibly even to measure black hole spins. Measurements of "diskoseismic" oscillations, trapped in the innermost regions of accretion disks by general relativistic effects, could provide a similarly sensitive probe of the curvature of spacetime. And studying the gravitational radiation from merging holes will tell us a great deal about how they formed, and how their formation relates to that of their host galaxies.

Program listing for Tuesday