June 4, 2021
The center of the Milky Way hosts the closest supermassive black hole to the Earth, offering us the opportunity to study the physics of supermassive black holes and their environment at a level of detail not possible elsewhere. I will discuss several major questions that are at the forefront of Galactic center research: (1) is General Relativity the correct description for supermassive black holes? (2) What can we learn about fundamental physics using supermassive black holes? and (3) What is the nature of the near-infrared emission from our supermassive black hole and why has its activity increased recently? I will also discuss the next revolution in the study of stellar orbits that will come with future giant ground-based telescopes such as TMT, GMT, and ELT.
Tuan Do is an Assistant Professor in the Physics and Astronomy Department and Deputy Director of the Galactic Center Group at UCLA. He received his undergraduate degrees in Physics and Astrophysics at UC Berkeley in 2004 and his PhD at UCLA in 2010. He was a TMT postdoctoral fellow at UC Irvine until 2012, when he joined the Dunlap Institute as a Dunlap Fellow until 2014. He returned to UCLA in 2015 as a research scientist and joined the Physics and Astronomy Department faculty in 2020.