High Energy Astrophysics and Gravitational Wave Astronomy

The research in our pision on high energy astrophysics and gravitational wave astronomy includes the following directions:

● Active galactic nuclei

Active galactic nuclei (AGNs) are the most luminous objects in our universe which can emit steadily. The research of AGNs in SHAO includes the theoretical models of AGNs especially the accretion disk models of low-luminosity AGNs, the spectral and variability observations at radio wavebands, the evolution, and relation between AGNs and host galaxies, in theoretical, statistical, and observational aspects. Researchers in this field include BU Defu, CHEN Liang, CHEN Yongjun, GU Minfeng, GUO Fulai, GUO Hengxiao, HUANG Lei, LI Shuang-Liang, LI Yaping, LU Rusen, JI Suoqing, SHEN Zhiqiang, XIE Fu-Guo, XING Yi, YUAN Feng and ZHOU Jianeng.

● X-ray binaries

The characteristic timescale of the accretion process in X-ray binaries is much shorter than that in AGNs due to the much smaller accretor mass, which is an advantage in the study of accretion and jets in X-ray binaries on both short and long timescales. Black holes and neutron stars in X-ray binaries also provide cosmic laboratories for the physics of strong gravity and ultra-dense matter that are not accessible in terrestrial laboratories. Researchers in this field include XIE Fu-Guo, YAN Zhen, YU Wenfei.

● Accretion and jet theory

Accretion theory plays an important role for our understanding of various objects ranging from young stellar objects, X-ray binaries, active galactic nuclei, and galaxy clusters. Our current research mainly concentrates on the analytical study of the theory of black hole accretion (including wind/outflow and jet formation) and its astrophysical applications. Investigations based on hydrodynamical and magnetohydrodynamical simulations are also carried out. Researchers in this field include BU Defu, CHEN Liang, LI Yaping, JI Suoqing, XIE Fu-Guo and YUAN Feng.

● The intracluster medium

The intracluster medium is an ideal laboratory to study high energy astrophysics and plasma astrophysics. Our current research interests include cooling flows, the physics and impact of AGN feedback, thermal conduction, observational signatures and impact of cosmic rays. Numerical simulations are the primary investigation tool. Researchers in this field include GUO Fulai, JI Suoqing, WU Maochun and YUAN Feng.

● Galactic center and M87

Galactic center (the center of Milky Way galaxy) and M87 are unique because of their proximity. In the past decades dramatic progresses have been made in both observational and theoretical aspects. The research on Galactic center and M87 in SHAO includes the observations and theoretical models at radio wavebands (e.g., the Event Horizon Telescope Collaboration), and the origin and impact of the Fermi bubble in our Galaxy. Researchers in this field include CHEN Yongjun, GUO Fulai, HUANG Lei, LI Yaping, LU Rusen, SHEN Zhiqiang and YUAN Feng.

● Time-domain astronomy

In the new era of multi-messenger and time domain astronomy, research in cosmic explosive events and multi-wavelength transients are becoming the frontiers. Our efforts focus on those related to relativistic astrophysics or physics under extreme conditions, by making use of some cutting-edge observing facilities both in space and on the ground. Our current research topics include the mysterious fast radio bursts, transient events in X-ray binaries or associated with black holes and neutron stars, and tidal disruption events. Researchers in this field include YAN Zhen and YU Wenfei.

● Merging of compact objects

Compact objects such as black holes and neutron stars release enormous amounts of energy during the merging process and produce gravitational and electromagnetic waves that propagate out into the universe. The gravitational waves from merging stellar-mass compact objects are concentrated at high frequencies, which are the targets of ground-based gravitational wave detectors and can explain the physical state of neutron stars and the nature of the dynamic gravitational field of black holes merging. The merging process involving supermassive black holes is the main target of space gravitational wave detectors, revealing the formation history of large black holes, the nature of black holes, and can be used as a standard siren of the high-redshift universe. The research on compact binary mergers at SHAO focuses on the merging process involving black holes, analyzing the astrophysical environment, black hole properties, gravitational theory tests, and cosmology. Researchers in this field include HAN Wenbiao, YANG Shucheng, YUN Qianyun, and ZHANG Chen.

● Analysis of low-frequency gravitational waves

The space gravitational wave missions are targeting to observe the low-frequency gravitational wave. Besides the massive black hole mergers, the stochastic gravitational wave background and galactic binaries are also the science objectives of the space mission. The data analysis methods will be developed for the gravitational waves by considering the joint missions' observations, properties of detector noises, and the characterizations of the sources. Researchers in this field include WANG Gang.

Upcoming Events