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Search for binary black hole candidates using 10 years of Fermi-LAT data

Project: 
Blazars, a subclass of active galactic nuclei (AGN) are powered by super-massive black holes in their centers and are known for extreme variability on time scales from minutes to years. It is possible that the center of the galaxy contains not one, but two supermassive black holes. In this case (a supermassive binary black hole), this duality is traceable as periodic modulation of their emission. So far, no high-significance periodicity has been observed in any blazar. In this project, we will use well established methods like e.g. Lomb-Scargle periodograms to search for periodic signals in more then 10 years of continuous Fermi/LAT gamma-ray observations. The student will perform a Fermi/LAT gamma-ray analysis of a sample of promising binary black hole candidates and compare his/her findings to theoretical predictions. A basic knowledge of gamma-ray astronomy and programming (C++, python) is advantageous, but not mandatory.
Node This Project Is Offered On: 
(NWU)

Supervisor

Michael
Kreter

Co-Supervisor

Markus
Boettcher
Research Area: 
Astrophysics


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