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Primeur weekly 2018-02-19

Exascale supercomputing

Ready for Exascale: researchers find algorithm for large-scale brain simulations on next-generation supercomputers ...

Quantum computing

Researchers demonstrate promising method for improving quantum information processing ...

Fingerprints of quantum entanglement ...

Focus on Europe

Karel Luyben appointed Dutch National Coordinator for Open Science ...

Middleware

An OLCF-developed visualization tool offers customization and faster rendering ...

Hardware

Dell EMC next generation converged infrastructure makes data centre modernization even simpler ...

Cray reports 2017 full year and fourth quarter financial results ...

Michael Levine and Ralph Roskies Day proclaimed in Pittsburgh and Allegheny County ...

MACH-2 put into operation at 77 trillion operations/second ...

Applications

CENIC recognizes technology projects to combat California wildfires ...

3D-e-Chem team develops building blocks and recipes for computer-aided drug discovery ...

Researchers find blood pressure drug holds promise for preventing onset of Type 1 diabetes ...

NCSA allocates over $2.4 million in new Blue Waters supercomputer awards to Illinois researchers ...

NCSA researchers create one of the most reliable tools for long-term crop prediction in the U.S. Corn Belt ...

Embracing complexity in biological systems ...

Particle interactions calculated on Titan support the search for new physics discoveries ...

GM revs up diesel combustion modeling on Titan supercomputer ...

NEC and Tohoku University succeed in AI-based new material development ...

Physics data processing at NERSC dramatically cuts reconstruction time ...

Advanced computing and water management at the AAAS Meeting 2018 ...

Neural networks everywhere ...

Supermassive black hole model predicts characteristic light signals at cusp of collision ...

New turbulent transport modelling shows multiscale fluctuations in heated plasma ...

TACC and DOD engage in four-year transformational design project ...

The Cloud

Atos signs key contract with the European Space Agency to enable new services with satellite data ...

Oracle buys Zenedge ...

NEC contributes to ecosystem for enhancing virtualized network orchestration ...

Supermassive black hole model predicts characteristic light signals at cusp of collision


Magnetic field lines emanate from a pair of supermassive black holes nearing merger within a large gas disk in a simulation by RIT scientists. Periodic light signals in the gas disk could someday help scientists locate supermassive binary black holes. Credit: RIT Center for Computational Relativity and Gravitation.
14 Feb 2018 Rochester - A new simulation of supermassive black holes - the behemoths at the centers of galaxies - uses a realistic scenario to predict the light signals emitted in the surrounding gas before the masses collide, said Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) researchers.

The RIT-led study represents the first step toward predicting the approaching merger of supermassive black holes using the two channels of information now available to scientists - the electromagnetic and the gravitational wave spectra - known as multimessenger astrophysics. The findings appear in the paper " Quasi-periodic Behavior of Mini-disks in Binary Black Holes Approaching Merger ", published in theAstrophysical Journal Letters.

"We've performed the first simulation in which an accretion disk around a binary black hole feeds individual accretion disks, or mini-disks, around each black hole in general relativity and magnetohydrodynamics", stated Dennis Bowen, lead author and postdoctoral researcher at RIT's Center for Computational Relativity and Gravitation.

Unlike their less massive cousins, first detected in 2016, supermassive black holes are fed by gas disks that surround them like doughnuts. The strong gravitational pull of the black holes that inspiral toward one another heats and disrupts the flow of gas from disk to black hole and emits periodic signals in the visible to X-ray portions of the electromagnetic spectrum.

"We have not yet seen two supermassive black holes get this close", Dennis Bowen stated. "It provides the first hints of what these mergers will look like in a telescope. The filling and refilling of mini-disks affect the light signatures."

The simulation models supermassive black holes in a binary pair, each surrounded by its own gas disks. A much larger gas disk encircles the black holes and disproportionately feeds one mini-disk over another, leading to the filling-and-refilling cycle described in the paper.

"The evolution is long enough to study what the real science outcome would look like", stated Manuela Campanelli, director of the Center for Computational Relativity and Gravitation and a co-author on the paper.

Binary supermassive black holes emit gravitational waves at lower frequencies than stellar-mass black holes. The ground-based Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory, in 2016, detected the first gravitational waves from stellar mass black holes collisions with an instrument tuned to higher frequencies. LIGO's sensitivity is unable to observe the gravitational wave signals produced by supermassive black hole coalescence.

The launch of the space-based Laser Interferometer Space Antenna, or LISA, slated for the 2030s, will detect gravitational waves from colliding supermassive black holes in the cosmos. When operational in the 2020s, the ground-based Large Synoptic Survey Telescope, or LSST, under construction in Cerro Pachón, Chile, will produce the widest, deepest survey of light emissions in the universe. The pattern of signals predicted in the RIT study could guide scientists to orbiting pairs of supermassive black holes.

"In the era of multimessenger astrophysics, simulations such as this are necessary to make direct predictions of electromagnetic signals that will accompany gravitational waves", Dennis Bowen stated. "This is the first step toward the ultimate goal of simulations capable of making direct predictions of the electromagnetic signal from binary black holes approaching merger."

Dennis Bowen and his collaborators combined simulations from RIT's Black Hole Lab computer clusters and the Blue Waters supercomputer at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, one of the largest supercomputers in the United States.

Astrophysicists from RIT, Johns Hopkins University and NASA Goddard Space Flight Center collaborated on the project. The publication is based on Dennis Bowen's Ph.D. dissertation at RIT and completes research begun by a co-author, Scott Noble, a former RIT post-doctoral researcher, now at NASA Goddard. Their research is part of a collaborative National Science Foundation-funded project led by Manuela Campanelli. Co-authors include Vassilios Mewes, RIT postdoctoral researcher; Miguel Zilhao, former RIT post-doctoral researcher, now at Universidade de Lisboa, in Portugal; and Julian Krolik, professor of physics and astronomy at Johns Hopkins University.

In an upcoming paper, the authors will explore further the correlation between gas flowing in and out of the accretion disks and fluctuating light emissions. They will present predictions of light signatures scientists can expect to see with advanced telescopes when looking for supermassive black holes approaching merger.

Two supermassive black holes at the centre of a large gas disk are on a collision course in a time sequence simulated by RIT scientists. An alternating flow of gas fills and depletes mini disks feeding the black holes, shown above. Characteristic light signals emitted in the gas could mark the location of the invisible masses. (Note: The dot at the centre of the image is not part of the simulation.) Credit: RIT Center for Computational Relativity and Gravitation.

Source: Rochester Institute of Technology

Back to Table of contents

Primeur weekly 2018-02-19

Exascale supercomputing

Ready for Exascale: researchers find algorithm for large-scale brain simulations on next-generation supercomputers ...

Quantum computing

Researchers demonstrate promising method for improving quantum information processing ...

Fingerprints of quantum entanglement ...

Focus on Europe

Karel Luyben appointed Dutch National Coordinator for Open Science ...

Middleware

An OLCF-developed visualization tool offers customization and faster rendering ...

Hardware

Dell EMC next generation converged infrastructure makes data centre modernization even simpler ...

Cray reports 2017 full year and fourth quarter financial results ...

Michael Levine and Ralph Roskies Day proclaimed in Pittsburgh and Allegheny County ...

MACH-2 put into operation at 77 trillion operations/second ...

Applications

CENIC recognizes technology projects to combat California wildfires ...

3D-e-Chem team develops building blocks and recipes for computer-aided drug discovery ...

Researchers find blood pressure drug holds promise for preventing onset of Type 1 diabetes ...

NCSA allocates over $2.4 million in new Blue Waters supercomputer awards to Illinois researchers ...

NCSA researchers create one of the most reliable tools for long-term crop prediction in the U.S. Corn Belt ...

Embracing complexity in biological systems ...

Particle interactions calculated on Titan support the search for new physics discoveries ...

GM revs up diesel combustion modeling on Titan supercomputer ...

NEC and Tohoku University succeed in AI-based new material development ...

Physics data processing at NERSC dramatically cuts reconstruction time ...

Advanced computing and water management at the AAAS Meeting 2018 ...

Neural networks everywhere ...

Supermassive black hole model predicts characteristic light signals at cusp of collision ...

New turbulent transport modelling shows multiscale fluctuations in heated plasma ...

TACC and DOD engage in four-year transformational design project ...

The Cloud

Atos signs key contract with the European Space Agency to enable new services with satellite data ...

Oracle buys Zenedge ...

NEC contributes to ecosystem for enhancing virtualized network orchestration ...