Beckman Fellow 2002-03

Charles Forbes Gammie



Professor Gammie’s research interests are in theoretical astrophysics, with an emphasis on fluid dynamics and computation. During his Center appointment, he will study a class of astronomical phenomena that is believed to be powered by a central engine consisting of a rotating black hole surrounded by infalling gas and strong magnetic fields. These phenomena include quasars, active galactic nuclei, galactic microquasars, and the enigmatic gamma-ray bursts. All of these objects are extraordinarily luminous and produce radiation that spans the electromagnetic spectrum.

Using new numerical techniques developed by his group and the computing resources of the National Center for Supercomputing Applications, he will investigate a series of questions that lie at the intersection of astrophysics and gravitation physics: Can energy be extracted from a rotating black hole? Can the rotation of a black hole be measured directly through astronomical observations? Is black hole rotation a crucial ingredient in determining the observational appearance of black holes?