I'm a graduate student in astronomy at UC Santa Cruz working with Professor Enrico Ramirez-Ruiz. Broadly, I'm interested in problems involving fluid dynamics!
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Accretion onto supermassive black holes Paper: Yarza et al. 2020
Accretion disks around slowly accreting black holes produce radiation via synchrotron emission and bremsstrahlung. Some of this radiation is then upscattered by inverse Compton scattering.
We implemented bremsstrahlung in the general relativistic radiative transfer code grmonty. We then used the code to study the high-energy emission from the accretion disk as a function of accretion rate, as well as for models of M87* and Sgr A*.
We found that bremsstrahlung is always important for the high-energy end of the spectral energy distribution, and that at high accretion rates it can be energetically important. Part of the reason for the latter is that electrons near the black hole (where synchrotron comes from) are cooler at higher accretion rates, and electrons far from the black hole (where bremsstrahlung comes from) are hotter because of Coulomb heating. In our models of M87*, the relative importance between bremsstrahlung and inverse Compton scattering depends on the black hole spin, which suggests high-energy variability could be a diagnostic of black hole spin.