Gothenburg Lise Meitner Award 2017

Ceremony and lecture – Gothenburg Lise Meitner Award 2017

Astrophysicist Professor Françoise Combes, l’Observatoire de Paris, LERMA, France, is the winner of the Gothenburg Lise Meitner Award 2017. She will visit the Gothenburg Physics Centre to receive the award and give the traditional award lecture in honour of the Austrian-Swedish physicist Lise Meitner. ​Professor Combes receives the award "for groundbreaking work in extragalactic astronomy on fundamental aspects of the physics and evolution of galaxies." Refreshments will be served after the lecture.

"When Supermassive Black Holes are Too Greedy"

The majority of galaxies host in their center a super-massive black hole of mass between one million and a few billion solar masses. The mass of the black hole is proportional to the bulge mass, which suggests a tight  relation between star formation and black hole growth.
When gas infalls to the center, the black hole swallows as much as possible, but it is limited.

Matter infalling on the black hole liberates a considerable energy, radiation and kinetic energy. The galaxy nucleus becomes active, either a Seyfert, or a quasar. The winds and plasma jets emitted by the black hole, drag the molecular gas around. So much mass is ejected that it can have a large impact on the host galaxy, quenching the star formation.

The supermassive black holes, in rejecting their food, thus control the star formation rate in galaxies.

About Françoise Combes

Professor Françoise Combes is an astrophysicist at l’Observatoire de Paris, LERMA, France. Her research focus is on formation and evolution of galaxies. She has also contributed to various models of dark matter. Earlier this year she was elected Honorary member of the American Astronomical Society. Other recent accomplishments include being awarded Officer of the French Legion of Honour in 2015, which is the highest French order of merit for military and civil merits.


Category Event; Lecture
Location: FB, lecture hall, Fysik Origo, Fysik
Starts: 21 September, 2017, 15:15
Ends: 21 September, 2017, 17:00

Published: Thu 24 Aug 2017. Modified: Fri 01 Sep 2017