Symposium S10  1-2 July 2021

The many faces of black hole accretion

Aims and scope

In order to shed light on the physical processes that regulate the growth of SMBHs during their active phase, and to link them to their host galaxy properties, it has become crucial to study in detail AGN at low redshifts (z<0.1), where sensitivity is highest and some of the key physical scales can be resolved. Surveys and individual studies of local AGN can provide a fundamental benchmark for future studies of SMBH growth at higher redshifts, as well as prescriptions for cosmological simulations.

In this symposium, we will discuss the wealth of multi-wavelength data that has been collected over the past few years, and the prospects to advance our knowledge of AGN physics in the near future. Beside emphasising the multi-wavelength aspect, we will discuss both observations and recent theoretical results during the meeting. The idea of this symposium will be to gather the European AGN community, a year before JWST will begin to revolutionise our view of galaxy evolution, to discuss the state of our knowledge in nearby SMBHs, and to forge synergies among forthcoming facilities and JWST.


We plan to have six 1.5 hours blocks, which will cover four broad topics:

1) Accretion properties and demographics. This part of the meeting will be focussed on the properties of accreting SMBHs on scales of <~100 gravitational radii. In particular, we will concentrate on our current understanding of the accretion flow and of the X-ray emitting plasma, obtained from recent optical/UV/X-ray spectroscopy and variability studies. As a further test to our current AGN models and observations, we will host one session with speakers from both the AGN and the X-ray binary (XRB) community to compare accretion models and observational results in those seemingly different but similar settings.

2) Circumnuclear environment. Here we will focus on the properties of the dense obscuring material (aka the torus on the ~ 1 pc scale), and of the ~ 50 pc nuclear stellar cluster/thick gas disk region.

3) Feedback and host galaxy properties. This session will feature results obtained by studying the impact of AGN outflows on galaxies, including discussion on the relation between AGN properties and star formation, stellar and molecular mass.

4) Future facilities. In this session we plan to have four invited talks on future AGN science with JWST, E-ELT, Athena and SKA. This last part of the meeting will be followed by a final discussion session that will link still open, crucial questions in the AGN community to the capabilities of the telescopes that will come online in the coming years.

Invited speakers

Erin Kara (MIT, USA)
Chris Done (Durham, UK)
Sara Motta (INAF, Italy)
Adam Ingram (Oxford, UK)
Cristina Ramos Almeida (IAC, Spain)
David Williamson (Southampton, UK)
Sylvain Veilleux (UMD, USA)
Mélanie Habouzit (MPIA, Germany)
Massimo Cappi (INAF, Italy)
Ric Davies (MPE, Germany)
Nancy Levenson (STSCI, USA)
Jeff Wagg (SKA)
Frederic Marin (Strasbourg, France)

Scientific organisers

Claudio Ricci (UDP, Chile; chair)
Violette Impellizzeri (Leiden University, Netherlands; co-chair)
Benny Trakhtenbrot (Tel Aviv University, Israel, co-chair)
Susanne Aalto (Chalmers, Sweden)
Almudena Alonso Herrero (Centro de Astrobiología CSIC-INTA, Spain)
Mislav Balokovic (Harvard, USA)
Leonard Burtscher (Leiden University, Netherlands)
Claudia Cicone (University of Oslo, Norway)
Poshak Gandhi (Southampton Univ., UK)
Sebastian Hoenig (Southampton Univ., UK)
Mike Koss (Eureka, USA)
Stephane Paltani (Geneva Univ., Switzerland)
David Rosario (Durham, UK)
Mara Salvato (MPE, Germany)
Eleonora Sani (ESO, Chile)
Taro Shimizu (MPE, Germany)
Meg Urry (Yale, USA)


claudio.ricci.astro @

Updated on Thu Feb 25 18:26:37 CET 2021