TAP Colloquium- Kinetic Plasma Simulations of Black-Hole Magnetospheres and Jets

Dr. Kyle Parfrey, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

Abstract: Black holes of all masses drive powerful relativistic jets, using magnetic fields dragged in by their accretion flows. The jets’ plasma should be so diffuse as to be effectively collisionless, and self-consistently supplied by pair creation near the horizon. I will present general-relativistic kinetic plasma simulations of the collisionless magnetospheres of rotating black holes, showing the launching of electromagnetic jets by the Blandford-Znajek mechanism. The simulations reveal a population of particles with negative energy at infinity, which can contribute significantly to black-hole rotational-energy extraction in a variant of the Penrose process. The kinetic approach may be useful for studying the accretion flows of the Event Horizon Telescope targets, Sgr A* and M87, where the plasma is likewise of low density and collisionless.

Refreshments served at 3:15pm in the Kuiper Atrium


3:40 p.m. to 4:40 p.m. Feb. 11, 2019


Kuiper Space Sciences Building, Room 312