Dr. Jake Simon is a Senior Research Associate at the University of Colorado and a visiting scientist at the Southwest Research Institute (SwRI).
From powering the supermassive black holes in the centers of galaxies to forming the building blocks of planets and planetary systems, accretion disks are ubiquitous throughout the universe. Given this prevalence and parallel advances in computational astrophysics and observational capabilities, now is the quintessential time to understand how these complex systems work in their various guises. In this talk, Dr. Simon will present his vision for combining observational and theoretical tools to answer key questions related to both protoplanetary disks and high-energy disks around black holes.
He will begin by discussing current and future numerical simulations that are studying a new regime of black hole accretion and may potentially shed light on the dramatic variability observed in many high energy systems, such as active galactic nuclei (AGN). Moving to lower energies, he will then describe how he is using numerical simulations as well as observations with the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) to test current models and build a new paradigm for protoplanetary disk evolution. Finally, he will discuss theoretical work on the formation of planetary building blocks, called planetesimals, within the gas disk environment implied by observations and how the predicted properties of these planetesimals compare with those observed in the asteroid and Kuiper Belt planetesimal populations.
When and Where
1:00 PM-1:50 PM
Thomas Gosnell Hall
Open to the Public