Thursday, March 15, 2018
2:00 pm

TAPIR Seminar

Quasars with periodic variability as sub-parsec Supermassive Black Hole Binary candidates
Charisi Maria, Postdoctoral Scholar in Astronomy, TAPIR, Caltech

Supermassive Black Hole Binaries (SMBHBs) are expected to form frequently in galactic nuclei as a result of galaxy mergers. However, the observational evidence for such systems, especially for binaries at sub-parsec separations, remains sparse. Hydrodynamical simulations predict that SMBHBs produce quasar-like luminosities, with variability periodically modulated at the orbital period of the binary. I will present a systematic search for quasars with periodic variability in the Palomar Transient Factory and the detection of a population of candidate SMBHBs. Moreover, I will also discuss follow-up work to uncover additional evidence for the binary nature of the identified candidates, such as relativistic Doppler boost.   [NOTE UNUSUAL DAY]

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