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How to see the invisible: X-ray polarization as a probe of black hole physics
February 20 @ 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM CST
Dr. Ioannis Liodakis (ORAU/NASA)
Black holes are mysterious objects that have such strong gravity that nothing can escape from them, not even light. We can detect them by the effects they have on their surroundings, such as jets of matter shooting out from their poles at almost the speed of light. Polarization is an invisible property of light to humans, which tells us how the light waves are oriented. By measuring the polarization of light in X-rays, we can get an unprecedented view of the physical processes around black holes. In this talk, I will present some recent results from the smallest to the most massive black holes from a new telescope in space, called the Imaging X-Ray Polarimetry Explorer (IXPE).