I realized a couple weeks ago that today is the 10-year anniversary of my PhD graduation. That’s where the “PhD” in my handle comes from – I’m not a Game Doctor, but a Dr. who loves games!
Want to know what my thesis was on? Wait, don’t leave!! I studied black holes at the centers of galaxies – that’s pretty cool!
Specifically, I was looking at light from very near the black holes. These particular black holes were actively eating, and putting out an incredible amount of X-ray radiation. By looking for changes in that X-ray light over time, I was trying to map out the region around the black hole.
The movie below shows an animation of what that central region might look like around a black hole in one of these galaxies. The animation is based on later work by another researcher (Markowitz, Krumpe, & Nikutta (2014) MNRAS 439:1403), where they saw changes in the X-ray light that could be explained by clouds. (Those graphs in the upper right corner? I produced hundreds of those for dozens of galaxies. It’s a picture only a scientist could love. Heh.)
These days I work in science communications, but that PhD gave me a good background in science and astronomy. Soon I’m hoping to put together some posts on science in games.
One Reply to “Putting the PhD in MeeplePhD”
Impressive achievement! Congratulations on the anniversary!