MELBOURNE, FLA. — Eric Perlman, Ph.D., Florida Tech associate professor of physics and space sciences, has earned a $162,000 NASA grant to study the jets of
two quasars using observations in polarized light.
A quasar is an extremely bright and distant active galactic nucleus. Quasar jets are nature’s greatest particle accelerators and the dominant source for
the highest-energy cosmic rays detected on Earth.
The project, which will access the Hubble Space Telescope, was funded so more may be learned about the structure of these jets. “There is much unknown
about how their highest energy emissions are generated and about the basic physics of the jets themselves,” said Perlman.
The jets, which are ejected from the region around the black hole at nearly the speed of light, are a common part of black hole systems. These include the
super-massive variety as found in galactic nuclei, and the stellar-mass variety.
Before coming to Florida Tech in January 2007, Perlman was on the physics and space sciences faculty at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County and a
visiting scholar at the Johns Hopkins University Center for Astrophysical Sciences. He earned a doctoral degree at the University of Colorado.