Astro Night

Thu, June 07, 2018


Speaker: Nectaria Gizani (Berkeley)

Title:  “Awake and Sleeping Supermassive Black Holes”


Black holes have always been a fascinating topic of study in Astrophysics, and they are as exciting and mysterious as their name implies. They come in many ‘flavors', where size plays the leading role in determining their life’s journey. From primordial to supermassive or even ultramassive black holes, they all have a different story to tell about their birth, growth, presence and background. What is the difference between all types of black holes? Where can we find them and how can we 'see' them?  Focusing on Supermassive Black Holes, I will discuss how astronomers are able to identify them, locate them and trace their behavior in their evolution. Finally, I will put all this into perspective by discussing 'our' place in the Universe.


Nectaria Gizani received her PhD from the Jodrell Bank Observatory, which is the Radioastronomy Department of the University of Manchester, UK. She currently holds the position of Assistant Professor in the School of Science and Technology of the Hellenic Open University in Greece. She is a Visiting Scholar at the Berkeley SETI Research Center of the Department of Astronomy, currently on her sabbatical leave. Her research is focused on the physics of active galactic nuclei (radio interferometric observations), on cosmic magnetic fields, the radio detection of cosmic rays, and the impact of solar activity on Earth’s climate via radio flux monitoring at 2.8 GHz. At the Breakthrough Listen Laboratory at UC Berkeley, she is involved in the software development of a wide band periodic detection pipeline, and with Allen Telescope Array research and development.