Active Galactic Nuclei (AGN) are the most luminous and distant sources in the Universe, formed when a supermassive black hole accretes matter from its surrounding galaxy. In X-Ray binary systems (XRB) a donor star transfers matter onto a compact object such as a neutron star or black hole. In both AGN and XRB, an accretion disk surrounds and feeds the compact central source.
AGN and XRB disk winds may be modelled using “Python”: a hybrid Monte Carlo/Sobolev radiative transfer code which follows progress of energy packets through a disk wind simulation grid. Python currently uses "Macro Atoms" to deal with excitation and de-excitation of Hydrogen, Helium and Carbon atomic/ionic states.
This project will involve adding Iron K-alpha as a Macro Atom to Python (Fe K-alpha has strong lines in AGN and XRB spectra). Initially atomic data will be collected in order to make Fe K-alpha into a macro atom, then new models will be run in order to evaluate the effects of this addition.
Previous computational experience is required - preferably in C or python.
Supervisor: Mandy Hewitt, Stuart Sim (contact: firstname.lastname@example.org)