The project proposes to study the astrophysical properties of jets from Galactic black holes and neutron stars. Jets produced from extragalactic black holes are believed to shape the structure of galaxies, therefore they are fundamentally important to understanding how our universe has formed; however, we do not understand how accretion disks produce the jets, the direct influence a black hole has on the disk-jet relationship or what regulates the outflow rate of the jet. As extragalactic black holes are extremely large and distant, I propose to investigate the much nearer Galactic sources that vary on much shorter time-scales. Black holes and neutrons stars in Galactic X-ray binaries have many of the scale invariant properties shown in extragalactic sources, but the jet variability is only ~seconds to days (whereas extragalactic jets can take >10,000 yrs to cross). X-ray binaries are also isolated systems, where properties such as the distance, orbital parameters and the source of the accreted material are often well known.
Hitherto, state-of-the-art research on jets from X-ray binaries has been limited as the radio brightness of the non-thermal emission from their jets is relatively weak compared to extragalactic sources. A recent advancement in radio astronomy has exponentially increased the sensitivity of radio telescopes and preparation for the construction of the SKA will continue this development. I propose to use my experience of commissioning new European radio telescopes to lead observations of X-ray binaries that were previously undetectable. I will also study the radio emission from the super-massive black hole at the Galactic Centre to investigate if the emission comes from a jet. Then, I will collaborate with theoretical and multi-wavelength experts at the University of Southampton to develop a physical model that describes the disk-jet variability.
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