MIT: Independent Activities Period: IAP

IAP 2017

The Era of Gravitational-wave Astronomy

Dr. Carl Rodriguez

Jan/26 Thu 01:30PM-02:30PM Marlar Lounge 37-252

Enrollment: Unlimited: No advance sign-up
Prereq: none

A billion years ago in a distant galaxy, two black holes collided, releasing more energy than the combined starlight of the entire universe.  A billion years later on September 14th, 2015, LIGO observed these energetic ripples in spacetime as they traveled past Earth, officially beginning the era of gravitational-wave astronomy.  But what are gravitational waves, and how do we use them for astronomy?  In this talk I’ll describe how black holes come together and merge, and how different features of gravitational waves allow us to answer questions about the dark side of the universe.  I’ll also describe other discoveries--beyond black holes--that LIGO is expected to make in the coming years.

please note: A talk by Dr. Ronald Remillard on "NICER to the Space Station: Astrophysics of Neutron Stars and Black Holes via X-ray Astronomy" will be held from 1:30-2:00pm and will precede Dr. Rodriguez' talk.  Each talk is 20 minutes in length with a 10 minute Q&A following.

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Sponsor(s): Kavli Institute for Astrophysics & Space Research
Contact: Debbie Meinbresse, 37-241, 617 253-1456, MEINBRES@MIT.EDU