© 2015

The Formation and Disruption of Black Hole Jets

  • Ioannis Contopoulos
  • Denise Gabuzda
  • Nikolaos Kylafis
  • Presents most recent observational results of jet systems in X-ray binaries and AGNs

  • Discusses most recent theoretical approaches to understanding the physics in these systems

  • Provides the first steps towards a consistent, unified physical picture of the formation and disruption of jets in accreting black-hole systems


Part of the Astrophysics and Space Science Library book series (ASSL, volume 414)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xi
  2. D. Lynden-Bell
    Pages 1-24
  3. Elena Gallo
    Pages 25-44
  4. Alexander Tchekhovskoy
    Pages 45-82
  5. Martin Hardcastle
    Pages 83-115
  6. Denise C. Gabuzda
    Pages 117-148
  7. Brian Punsly
    Pages 149-176
  8. Nektarios Vlahakis
    Pages 177-205
  9. Ioannis Contopoulos
    Pages 227-244
  10. N. D. Kylafis, T. M. Belloni
    Pages 245-264

About this book


This book reviews the phenomenology displayed by relativistic jets as well as the most recent theoretical efforts to understand the physical mechanisms at their origin. Relativistic jets have been observed and studied in Active Galactic Nuclei (AGN) for about half a century and are believed to be fueled by accretion onto a supermassive black hole at the center of the host galaxy. Since the first discovery of relativistic jets associated with so-called "micro-quasars" much more recently, it has seemed clear that much of the physics governing the relativistic outflows in stellar X-ray binaries harboring black holes and in AGN must be common, but acting on very different spatial and temporal scales. With new observational and theoretical results piling up every day, this book attempts to synthesize a consistent, unified physical picture of the formation and disruption of jets in accreting black-hole systems.

The chapters in this book offer overviews accessible not only to specialists but also to graduate students and astrophysicists working in other areas. Covered topics comprise


  • Relativistic jets in stellar systems
  • Launching of AGN jets
  • Parsec-scale AGN jets
  • Kiloparsec-scale AGN jets
  • Black hole magnetospheres
  • Theory of relativistic jets
  • The structure and dynamics of the inner accretion disk
  • The origin of the jet magnetic field
  • X-ray observations, phenomenology, and connection with theory


AGN Jets Accretion Disks Active Galactic Nuclei Black Hole Magnetospheres Cosmic Battery Formation of Astrophysical Jets Jet Disruption Jet Formation Magnetic Field Generation Micro Quasar Jets Poynting-Robertson Battery Relativistic Jets Stellar Black Holes X-ray Binaries

Editors and affiliations

  • Ioannis Contopoulos
    • 1
  • Denise Gabuzda
    • 2
  • Nikolaos Kylafis
    • 3
  1. 1.Academy of AthensAthensGreece
  2. 2.Physics DepartmentUniversity College CorkCorkIreland
  3. 3.Department of PhysicsUniversity of CreteHeraklionGreece

About the editors

Ioannis Contopoulos is a Senior Researcher at the Academy of Athens. His field of research is magnetohydrodynamics with focus on astrophysical jets and winds.
Denise Gabuzda is a Senior Lecturer at the Physics Department, University College Cork. She is working on AGN jets, searching for observational evidence for the presence of helical jet magnetic fields. Together with Ioannis Contopoulos et al. she has discovered observational evidence for the operation of a Poynting-Robertson Battery operating in AGN accretion disks.
Nikos Kylafis is Professor & Dean of the School of Sciences at the University of Crete. His research interests are in Theoretical Astrophysics with special interests in Radiation Transfer, (Jets from) Compact X-ray Sources, Spiral Galaxies, and Astrophysical MASERs.

Bibliographic information


“The book is a pleasant surprise in that each of the ten contributions it contains is a serious mini-review about one facet of the field … . The contributions themselves present an interesting snapshot of current theoretical ideas on black-hole jets and, although inevitably rather subjective, are well written. … Overall, this volume contains a nice mix of theoretical ideas combined with solid observational reviews. I would recommend it for someone wanting to gain a quick snapshot of the field.” (Rob Fender, The Observatory, Vol. 136 (1252), June, 2016)