Relativistic Jets in the Accretion & Collimation Zone: New Challenges Enabled by New Instruments

Eric S. Perlman, Mark Birkinshaw, Matthias Kadler, Serguei Komissarov, Matthew Lister, David Meier, Eileen Meyer, Masanori Nakamura, Kristina Nyland, Christopher ODea, Diana Worrall, Andrzej Zdziarski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)


Jets are a ubiquitous part of the accretion process, seen in a wide variety of objects ranging from active galaxies (AGN) to X-ray binary stars and even newly formed stars. AGN jets are accelerated by the supermassive black hole of their host galaxy by a coupling between the magnetic field and inflowing material. They are the source for many exciting phenomena and can profoundly influence the larger galaxy and surrounding cluster. This White Paper points out what advances can be achieved in the field by new technologies, concentrating on the zone where jets are accelerated to relativistic speeds and collimated. The ngVLA and new space VLBI missions will give higher angular resolution, sensitivity and fidelity in the radio, penetrating this zone for additional objects and allowing us to resolve fundamental questions over the physics of jet acceleration and collimation. Interferometry in other bands would allow us to probe directly flaring components. We also emphasize the need for polarimetry, which is essential to revealing the role and configuration of magnetic fields.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 26 Feb 2019

Bibliographical note

8 pages, 5 figures, submitted to Astro2020, the Decadal Survey of Astronomy & Astrophysics


  • astro-ph.GA
  • astro-ph.HE


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