Current PhD Thesis Fellows

#Rebekka Bieri

I completed my Masters Program in Theoretical Physics at the University of Zurich in 2013 then joined the Lagrange Institute in September 2013 and started my PhD at the Institut d’Astrophysique de Paris under the supervision of Joseph Silk, Gary Mamon, and Yohan Dubois.

Supermassive Black holes (SMBHs) play an important role in regulating the baryonic mass content of massive galaxies by releasing a fraction of the rest-mass accreted energy back into the galactic gas. The effect that accreting SMBHs have on their environment is called Active Galactic Nuclei (AGN) feedback. AGN feedback is routinely included in semi-analytic and numerical simulations. They have shown that such feedback is able to quench cooling flows and decrease star formation. Radio-mode feedback models from AGN jets are, however, still in the early stages of development. The impact of the jet on the host galaxy, for instance, is not yet fully understood.

During my PhD thesis I am exploring the effect of AGNs on the host galaxy by means of hydrodynamical simulations using the adaptive mesh refinement code RAMSES. In my thesis, I address whether an AGN has a net positive or negative effect its surroundings. So far, I worked on the impact of external pressure on a galaxy and I am now moving to the question of how radiation couples to the surrounding interstellar medium by including radiative hydrodynamics in the simulations.

Contact: bieri[at]