Upcoming Biard Lecture

Event Horizon Black Hole Image

Save the Date -- October 12, 2022!

13th Annual R. Jack and Forest Lynn Biard Lectureship
in Cosmology and Astrophysics

"Imaging (and imagining) Black Holes"

Sera Markoff, Ph.D.
Professor of Astrophysics, University of Amsterdam
Event Horizon Telescope (EHT)
Cherenkov Telescope Array (CTA)

Register for a free Eventbrite ticket!

The event is free and open to all.
Ohio Union - Archie Griffin East Ballroom

Sgr A*
Sgr A*

Black holes are one of the most exotic consequences of Einstein’s general relativity, yet they are also very common, from stellar remnants up tobeasts over a billion times more massive than our sun. Despite their reputation as cosmic vacuum cleaners, they actually manage to convert a large fraction of gravitationally captured material into other forms that can escape the black hole and majorly impact their surroundings. In fact we now think that black holes, via such processes, help define how the largest scales of structure in the Universe look today. To understand the source of this energy we need to study the regions just outside the Event Horizon, something we have now achieved (twice!!) with the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT). I will explain not only the exciting EHT results for the supermassive black holes M87* and Sgr A* but also their importance for our greater understanding of astrophysics. I will also discuss some questions that remain outstanding and the outlook for future studies.



Sera Markoff Ph.D.

Sera Markoff (https://www.seramarkoff.com) is a full professor of theoretical astrophysics/astroparticle physics at the University of Amsterdam, focused on the extreme physics around compact objects like black holes. She was educated in the US (BSc Physics @ MIT 1993, PhD Theoretical Astrophysics @University of Arizona 2000) before heading to Europe to work at the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Germany as a Humboldt Research Fellow and then back to MIT as an NSF Astronomy & Astrophysics Postdoctoral Fellow, before joining the faculty in Amsterdam in 2006. She has won numerous awards for her research, including the top Dutch Research Council personal career grants VIDI and VICI, and was named Fellow of the American Physical Society in 2014 for her work on black holes. She has also won awards for her community outreach projects. Within the Event Horizon Telescope Collaboration she currently serves as vice-chair of the EHT Science Council and co-coordinates the  Multi-Wavelength Science Working Group.