Payaswini Saikia

Postdoctoral Student Affiliation: NYU Abu Dhabi
Education: PhD, Radboud University; MSc, Astromundus, University of Gottingen; BSc, Delhi University

Payaswini Saikia has recently joined as a postdoctoral researcher with Dr. Dave Russell in New York University, Abu Dhabi. The main goal of her research is to understand the process of black hole accretion and relativistic jet physics, based on the idea that accretion physics scale globally across black holes of the entire mass scale. 

She finished her Bachelors of Science with Physics Hons in St. Stephen's College, Delhi University. After that, she received the ERASMUS MUNDUS Scholarship from European Commission for an International Masters in Astrophysics - Astromundus. She was awarded the Best Master's Thesis Award of her batch by the Erasmus Mundus Association. She did her PhD in Radboud University Netherlands, where she was awarded the Frye Stipend for excellence in research by a female PhD student in the University.

During her PhD, she has used black hole scaling relations to shed light on relativistic beaming properties of blazar jets and spins of supermassive black holes. She has discovered the fundamental plane of black hole activity in the optical band (Saikia et al., 2015), and used it to propose a new and independent method of constructing the Lorentz factor distribution of relativistic jets in Blazars (Saikia et al., 2016). She has also shed light on the practicalities and concerns of using 1.4 GHz FIRST radio fluxes to trace nuclear jet activities (Saikia et al., 2017, submitted).

At present, she is working on a radio dataset of the nuclei of active galaxies in the local universe. Once completed, this will be the most complete radio census of accretion power in nearby galaxies. She is also investigating the NIR-excesses in black hole transient outburst rises and decays. She hopes to look for both theoretical predictions and observational evidences to establish unification of supermassive and stellar-mass black holes. 

Her research interests include black holes, accretion and relativistic jet physics, active galatic nuclei, X-ray binaries, and radio astronomy.