Hurum Maksora Tohfa


MIT Department: Physics
Faculty Mentor: Prof. Michael McDonald
Undergraduate Institution: Bryn Mawr College
Website: LinkedIn
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I was born and raised in Bangladesh. I am currently a junior at Bryn Mawr College studying physics with a minor in mathematics and a concentration in scientific computing. I am interested in research in computational astrophysics and cosmology. After finishing my undergraduate studies, I aim to attend a PhD program in physics. My long term goal is to pursue a career in academia while continuing my research. In my free time, I enjoy sketching and listening to music.


2021 Abstract

Understanding X-ray Cavities

Hurum Maksora Tohfa1, Michael McDonald2
1Department of Physics, Bryn Mawr College, 101 N Merion Avenue,
Bryn Mawr, PA 19010, USA
2Kavli Institute for Astrophysics and Space Research, MIT, 77 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA

X-ray observations have shown that the wholesale cooling of the universe is being offset by mechanical heating from active galactic nuclei(AGN). Feedback and heating from AGN are considered a prime candidate for solving the “cooling flow” problem in the hot gas of galaxy clusters. Recent observations using Chandra telescope has produced detection of X-ray surface brightness depressions known as “cavities” or “bubbles” in many of these systems, interpreted as buoyantly rising bubbles created by AGN outbursts. Studies of such cavities in clusters suggest that the outburst energy required to inflate these cavities would be sufficient to balance cooling. The pressure from these cavities have a one-to-one correlation with the luminosity of the clusters. We have created simulations by imagining bubbles by varying their radii and distance from the AGN center using different theoretical models and experimental data of X-ray cavities. We then looked at their pressure and corresponding luminosity of the clusters and found a similar correlation which implies that correlation is rather a property of the gas cluster. So, the objects that we observe as cavities might be just numerical noise in the telescope data as the pressure-luminosity one-to-one correlation is not a cavity specific property. We have also observed that scatter is dependent on the bubble geometry. From previous experimental observations we have also noticed correlation between radii and distance from the AGN center. We have imposed theoretical constraints to explain this phenomena as well and found that the observed pressure-luminosity of X-Ray cavities have substantial biases.