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Stellar Tidal Disruption: what can we learn and what have we learned
Enrico Ramirez-Ruiz (UC Santa Cruz)
May 25 @ 4:00 PM - 5:00 PM
In the last several years, the disruption and accretion of stars by super-massive black holes (SMBHs) has been linked to tens of luminous flares observed in the cores of nearby galaxies. Our theoretical understanding of these tidal disruption events (TDEs), however, remains incomplete. While recent simulations have provided unprecedented detail on the dynamics of the disruption, we still do not have a good understanding of how infalling gas circularizes and accretes onto the SMBH, or how or where the thermal emission we observe is generated. The art of modeling the tidal disruption of stars by massive black holes forms the main theme of my talk. Detailed simulations should tell us what happen when stars of different types get tidally disrupted, and what radiation a distant observer might detect as the observational signature of such events.