ERC Advanced Grant: Black holes as magnetic jet engines

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Some galaxies eject super-energetic, clustered jets of plasma into space. And all of them seem to come from black holes. How is this connected? My guess: these black holes have a magnetic field and rotate. This causes them to eject electrically charged particles outward. You can only check this by looking. Our concept: use the image sharpness of the VLBI to determine magnetic fields in the vicinity of black holes by observing polarized radio waves, i.e. waves oscillating in a certain direction.

We presented this idea last year to a panel of experts from the European Research Council. They were obviously impressed and now want to contribute 2.5 million Euros to our project. A great success for my group at the MPI for Radio Astronomy.

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