4 p.m. - 5 p.m. Location: SLC 1.102
Dr. Scott Noble (University of Tulsa)
Accretion disks around supermassive binary black holes offer a rare opportunity to probe the strong-field limit of dynamical gravity using turbulent plasma as a lighthouse. Accurate simulations of these systems using a variety of configurations will be critical to interpreting future observations of them. In this talk, we will present our latest results of 3-d general relativistic magnetohydrodynamic supercomputer simulations of accreting binary black holes during the post-Newtonian inspiral phase of their evolution. The goal of our work is to explore whether these systems provide a unique means to identify and characterize them with electromagnetic observations. We will present results that show how our predicted light curves vary with respect to mass ratio, binary separation, amount of accreting magnetic flux, and the order of accuracy in the post-Newtonian approximation. We will also provide a context for our results and describe our future avenues of exploration.