Accretion of gas onto compact objects powers the most energetic events in the cosmos, from luminous quasars billions of light years away to X-ray sources in our own Galaxy. In addition, accretion disks are thought to play a central role in the formation and evolution of extrasolar planets. The group works to further the theoretical understanding of this fundamental process.
Massimo Gaspari works on accretion onto supermassive black holes using 3D MHD AMR simulations. He is particularly interested in understanding how the cold/hot matter is accreted on small scales, the role of turbulence and cooling, and how the released accretion energy couples to the surrounding medium.
Marat Gilfanov's interests include physics of accretion, interaction of matter and radiation under extreme astrophysical conditions of high temperature and pressure, strong gravity and high magnetic field.
Takamitsu Tanaka develops analytic and semianalytic descriptions of accretion flows, including exact, time-dependent solutions for geometrically thin accretion and decretion disks; models of hot, radiatively inefficient accretion flows and their outflows; and theoretical predictions of persistent and transient emission from accreting supermassive black hole binaries.