Research Fellows Directory
Dr Mark Kennedy
University of Manchester
Binary star systems provide us with the best conditions to test the most extreme types of physics, from nuclear fusion to general relativity. By far the most important physical process in a binary star system is accretion which occurs when a compact object (a white dwarf, a neutron star or a black hole) tears material away from the surface of nearby star. This process is directly related to the evolution of the Universe as accretion occurs in many different types of systems, from young proto-stars all the way up to giant active galactic nuclei which are thought to host super massive black holes. Our project focuses on the effects that magnetic fields have on the accretion structures within binary systems. As accreting material approaches a white dwarf, its trajectory is governed by the magnetic field of the white dwarf. We will combine X-ray, optical, and radio observations to determine this accretion flow in various systems with different magnetic fields.
Interests and expertise (Subject groups)