My main research focuses on the physics of the X-ray emitting gas in clusters of galaxies, from the smallest to the largest scales. During my PhD, I studied how the central black hole in the brightest cluster galaxy interacts with the intracluster medium; later on, I focused more on the outer edges of clusters of galaxies, trying to understand how these objects grow by accreting matter from the surrounding large-scale structure.
In more detail, my research interests currently include:
- Thermodynamic properties of the X-ray emitting intracluster medium (ICM) near the virial radius in clusters of galaxies;
- The growth of large-scale structure – how matter accretes onto clusters from the surrounding large-scale structure filaments of the cosmic web;
- Properties of the diffuse gas in large-scale structure filaments, beyond the edges of clusters (the so-called warm-hot intergalactic medium or WHIM);
- Microphysics of the ICM: viscosity, conduction, turbulence;
- Shocks in the ICM driven by active galactic nuclei (AGN) and by cluster mergers;
- The relation between ICM shocks seen in X-rays and radio emission; Magnetic fields in the ICM;
- How metals are transported from the host galaxies into the ICM, in particular through AGN feedback;
- The integrated history of supernova explosions which produced the metals currently found in the ICM;
- Cooling and heating of the ICM in the centers of cool-core clusters of galaxies; the presence of multi-phase gas (molecular to fully ionized) and its origin.