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Richard Anantua

Co-I (Black Holes) and Education

I am a theoretical astrophysicist pushing the frontiers of our understanding of jet/accretion flow/black hole (JAB) systems through general relativistic magnetohydrodynamic (GRMHD) simulations and related semi-analytic models— now with the SCEECS. Born in Brooklyn, NY in a Haitian American household, I have pursued my avid interest in math and physics in specialized/magnet schools including Phillippa Schuyler, Hunter College High School and Stuyvesant High School. Over the next 4 years, I attended Yale College and completed the Bachelor’s of Science in (Physics and Philosophy) and (Economics and Mathematics). I went on to graduate the Physics PhD program at Stanford under the esteemed Prof. Roger Blandford— currently PI of the SCEECS. My educational training culminated in postdoctoral appointments at UC Berkeley in collaboration with Prof. Eliot Quataert and the Center for Astrophysics | Harvard & Smithsonian collaborating with Prof. Avi Loeb (among others) in establishing methodological pipelines for the study of JAB systems.


Using novel models of emission by turbulent heating, e.g., the Critical Beta Model (Anantua et al. 2020a), and incorporating relativistic jet models, e.g., the Constant Electron Beta Model (Anantua et al. 2020b), in a piecewise fashion, I have predicted morphological classifications of JAB system images seen by the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) such as Sagittarius (Sgr) A*. I have also added positrons to radiative transfer pipelines of polarized images of EHT sources such as M87, revealing important positron effects such as the canceling of circular polarization in magnetically arrested disk (MAD) models and enhanced Faraday rotation of linear polarization in standard and normal evolution (SANE) disks.


As a member of EHT since 2020, I have served as Outreach Group Coordinator—leading the Americas in global EHT outreach efforts such as the press release of the first image of the supermassive black hole at our Galactic Center now seen by millions. I also lead the first research group focused on Event Horizon Telescope applications in Texas as a tenure-track professor at the University of Texas at San Antonio.


Among my most successful endeavors to date is the establishment of the NSBP/SAO EHT Scholars program. Started at the Harvard Smithsonian Astronomical Observatory Group of the EHT, this program— in partnership with the National Society of Black Physicists— has led to numerous publications and graduate theses in its first few years since inception. 


Five recent relevant references

EHT Collaboration et al. 2022, “First Sagittarius A* Event Horizon Telescope Results. I., The Shadow of the Supermassive Black Hole in the Center of the Milky Way,” ApJL 930, L12

EHT Collaboration et al. 2021, “First M87 Event Horizon Telescope Results. VIII., Magnetic Field Structure near The Event Horizon,” ApJL 910, L13 


R. J. Anantua, S. M. Ressler and E. Quataert 2020, “On the Comparison of AGN with GRMHD Simulations, I. Sgr A*,” MNRAS 493, 1404

R. J. Anantua, Sean A. Hartnoll, Victoria L. Martin and David M. Ramirez 2013, “The Pauli Exclusion Principle at Strong Coupling: Holographic Matter and Momentum space,” JHEP 3, 104

R. J. Anantua, R. Easther and J. T. Giblin Jr. 2009, “Grand Unification Scale Primordial Black Holes: Consequences and Constraints,” Phys. Rev. Lett. 103, 111303


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