Anticipating the Rising Tide of Tidal Disruption Events: Theory and Observations
Coordinators: Kate Alexander, Eric Coughlin and Suvi Gezari
Tidal disruption events (TDEs), which occur when a star is destroyed by the immense tidal field of a supermassive black hole, fuel luminous accretion flares that provide unique insight into the properties of galactic nuclei and their central black holes. The detection rate of these events has accelerated in recent years thanks to advances in wide-field survey capabilities across the electromagnetic spectrum. Nonetheless, there remain theoretical uncertainties in the modeling of TDEs that obfuscate understanding in the face of observations, and our ability to use TDEs as a collective Rosetta Stone for deciphering black hole demographics across cosmic time remains elusive. To bridge theory and observation and to start to tap the wealth of understanding contained within TDE observations, this conference aims to unite the diverse field of astronomers working on TDEs and the related fields of variable Active Galactic Nuclei (AGN; including quasi-periodic eruptions, QPEs) and X-ray binaries. This conference will highlight the recent advances that have been made in understanding TDEs, make connections to related astrophysical phenomena, and elucidate the most outstanding questions in TDE theory and observation.