Black Holes & Spin-offs

Apr 02, 2024 - 7:00 pm to 8:00 pm

Hewlett Teaching Center, Room 200 and online - Register here

Katherine Blundell (University of Oxford)

Black Holes & Spin-offs

About the Lecture

The popular notion of a black hole "sucking in everything" from its surroundings only happens very close to a black hole. Far away, the pull of the black hole is identical to that of anything else of the same mass. However, black holes do give rise to many remarkable phenomena such as extragalactic quasars and, in our own Galaxy, microquasars. This is because gravity is not the only law of physics that must be obeyed. Matter can be spun off from near black holes in the form of winds and jets that spread through their surroundings and thus cause black holes to have tremendous cosmic influence many light years beyond their event horizons. In this lecture, I will describe various approaches that I employ to investigate these phenomena, and their spin-offs.

Katherine Blundell

About the Speaker

Katherine Blundell is a Professor of Astrophysics at the University of Oxford. Her research interests include extreme energy phenomena in the Universe: ranging from supermassive black holes at the hearts of distant, powerful quasars, to plasma physics, to novae. Prof. Blundell launched the Global Jet Watch to advance research on relativistic jets from black holes in our Galaxy. She has published over 200 papers in academic journals and her research has been honored by the Royal Society with the Rosalind Franklin medal. Prof. Blundell has been awarded a research prize from the Leverhulme Trust, and the Bragg medal from the Institute of Physics. In the 2017 Queen’s Birthday Honors, she was appointed OBE for "services to astronomy and the education of young people.” In 2019, she was appointed Gresham Professor of Astronomy, a post previously held by Sir Christopher Wren.

Directions and Parking

This event will take place in the Hewlett Teaching Center (370 Jane Stanford Way) on the Stanford campus. Upon arrival, please check in in the foyer of the building and follow signs for Room 200.

The closest visitor parking is in the Via Ortega Garage and along the Stanford Oval. All parking is free in spaces marked Visitor, A, or C after 4pm unless indicated otherwise. Accessible parking is also available along the Stanford Oval.

If you plan to take public transportation, some lines of the Marguerite Shuttle connect between the Palo Alto Transit Center and the campus. You can get to the Hewlett Teaching Center by taking Line P (drops off at the Stanford Oval), Line X (drops off at the ChEM-H Building on Jane Stanford Way), and Line Y (picks up across from the ChEM-H Building on Jane Stanford Way). A complete list of shuttle schedules and route maps can be found here.