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The Extremes of Black Hole Accretion

Some of the most energetic processes seen in the Universe arise close to a super-massive black hole such as relativistic jets and winds. These are now known to play a key role in determining the growth of galaxies across cosmic time, but the mechanisms by which they are launched remain unclear.

Recent progress on probing the properties of the accretion flow at the smallest radii include new spectral-timing techniques to identify the reverberation signal from the disc, as well as spectral studies of the ultrafast outflows, the broad iron line and soft X-ray excess. The stellar mass black holes provide a natural comparison sample, and again new data and new techniques are allowing us to focus in on the regions closest to the event horizon. The time is ripe for a conference to similarly focus on these extreme regions, to determine the structure of the accretion flow on the smallest scales and its relation to relativistic outflows and jets.

The Extremes of Black Hole Accretion