Symposium S7  7 – 8 July 2016

X-rays from AGN: looking into the central engine

Aims and scope

Active Galactic Nuclei (AGN) are powered by accretion onto supermassive black holes. X-rays produced by the innermost region of the flow provide a unique probe of the black hole environment all the way into the event horizon. The spectral and timing properties of these X-rays carry vital information regarding the spacetime, the emission mechanisms for continuum and reprocessed radiation, the nature and dynamics of absorbing gas, and the geometry of the central source and accretion disc. Impressive progress has been made in recent years, both in theory and observations, driven by the wealth of new results from satellites like Chandra, XMM-Newton, Suzaku and NuSTAR. In particular, X-ray spectral studies of features like the iron line and soft excess, as well as X-ray timing studies like the reverberation time-lag spectra, have offered us a unique opportunity to study the effects of strong gravity on the properties of matter and radiation, and to understand what effects black holes have on their environment.

This symposium will focus on the X-ray emission from AGN, by discussing the evidence for relativistic signatures in the spectral and timing properties of the sources, by addressing the issues of how supermassive black holes accrete matter, how and where the X-ray continuum emission is produced, the relationship between accretion and ejection, and the geometry of the corona and disc. The symposium aims to present timing and spectral data analysis, in combination with the results from new theoretical developments. In this way, its objective is to provide a comprehensive summary of the current knowledge in this relatively new and rapidly developing field, in time to exploit missions such as Hitomi (Astro-H) and AstroSat, and to assist with the planning of future European observatories such as Athena.

The symposium program is anticipated to cover topics like: X-ray spectral and timing studies, accretion flow, corona and X-ray winds.

Invited speakers

  • Gulab Dewangan (IUCAA) on AstroSat results
  • Norbert Schartel (ESAC) on XMM-Newton highlights
  • Erin Kara (University of Maryland) on X-ray timing
  • Anna Lia Longinotti (Instituto Nacional de Astrofisica, Mexico) on X-ray spectra
  • Fabio Muleri (IAPS/INAF) on X-ray polarimetry
  • Pierre-Olivier Petrucci (IPAG) on X-ray theory
  • Aleksander Sadowski (MIT) on accretion discs modelling
  • Yoshihiro Ueda (Kyoto) on obscured accretion
  • Andy Young (University of Bristol) on X-ray reverberation theory

Scientific organisers
M. Dovciak (Astronomical Institute of the Czech Academy of Sciences, Czech Republic), M. Guainazzi (ESAC/ESA), E. Kara (Department of Astronomy, University of Maryland, College Park, US), I. Papadakis (University of Crete, Greece) & A. Young (Physics Department, University of Bristol, UK).

M. Dovciak: michal.dovciak @, I. Papadakis: jhep @

Updated on Sun Jun 12 12:22:19 CEST 2016