Department of Astronomy Center for Radiophysics & Space Research

2011-2012 Salpeter Lecturer - Eliot Quataert, UC Berkeley

12Monday, Mar. 12
4:00 PM
Schwartz Auditorium

Joint Physics and Astronomy Colloquium

Searching for the Electromagnetic Counterparts to Gravitational Wave Sources

In the next ~ 5 years, ground-based interferometers such as Advanced LIGO are likely to provide the first direct detections of gravitational waves, with the most promising sources being the mergers of two neutron stars or a neutron star and a black hole.  Maximizing the scientific return of this new window into the universe requires connecting gravitational wave detections to the wealth of electromagnetic data on similar sources.  In this talk I will describe the motivation for combining electromagnetic and gravitational views of the universe and the physics that determines the electromagnetic counterparts to compact object mergers.