Strong Gravity

This series consists of talks in areas where gravity is the main driver behind interesting or peculiar phenomena, from astrophysics to gravity in higher dimensions.

Seminar Series Events/Videos

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Oct 25 2018 - 1:00pm
Room #: 400
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Nov 1 2018 - 1:00pm
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Nov 8 2018 - 1:00pm
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Nov 15 2018 - 1:00pm
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Nov 29 2018 - 1:00pm
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Dec 6 2018 - 1:00pm
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Jan 24 2019 - 1:00pm
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Thursday Oct 04, 2018
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Conventional equations of state suggest that in complete gravitational collapse a singular state of matter with infinite density could be reached finally to a black hole, the characteristic feature of which is its apparent horizon, where light rays are first trapped. The loss of information to the outside world this implies gives rise to serious difficulties with well-established principles of quantum mechanics and statistical physics.

 

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Thursday Sep 27, 2018
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This talk will explore the applications of the computing power of numerical relativity to gravitational theories beyond general relativity. Specifically, I will consider dynamical Chern-Simons gravity, which has roots in string theory and loop quantum gravity. I will discuss our  formalism and efforts to simulate binary black holes in this theory to generate waveforms LIGO and LISA. Additionally, I will discuss the generation of numerical black hole solutions in this theory, and applications to probing black hole shadows with the Event Horizon Telescope. 

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Thursday Sep 13, 2018
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Black-hole recoils are arguably the strong-gravity phenomena with the most striking astrophysical consequences. In the late inspiral and final coalescence of black-hole binaries, anisotropic emission of gravitational waves causes significant linear momentum loss. The remnant black hole, therefore, recoils in the opposite direction. These final kicks can reach magnitudes up to 5000 km/s (“superkicks”), larger than the escape speed of even the most massive galaxies, thus opening the possibility of black hole ejections.

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Thursday Jun 21, 2018
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The recent detections of gravitational waves from compact object binary
lead to detailed investigations of the origin of these objects. In my talk
I will discuss the questions: What is the astrophysical origin of these objects?
What do these detections tell us about the formation of black holes and neutron stars?
What are the main problems that they pose?
What to expect in the coming gravitational observations?

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Thursday May 03, 2018

Detections of compact binary coalescences with Advanced LIGO and Advanced Virgo are now starting to become routine. However, thereis still considerably more information that can be gleaned from these observations, particularly as detector sensitivity and waveform modelsboth improve. We start by describing the methods currently used in LIGO/Virgo data analysis to determine the mass and spin of the remnant black hole of the binary black hole coalescences.

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Thursday Feb 08, 2018
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In general relativity, the effective-one-body (EOB) approach, which consists in reducing the two-body dynamics to the motion of a test particle in an effective static, spherically symmetric metric, has proven to be a very powerful framework to describe analytically the coalescence of compact binary systems.

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Thursday Feb 08, 2018
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Gravitational waves from the mergers of five binary black holes and one binary neutron star were detected in the past two years by the advanced LIGO and Virgo detectors. These detections allowed our Universe to be observed in gravitational waves for the first time, and they have tested the predictions of general relativity for dynamical and strongly gravitating systems. I will discuss these results and also highlight a few additional examples of ways in which gravitational waves can shed light on open questions in theoretical physics and astrophysics.

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Thursday Jan 25, 2018
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The observations of gravitational waves from coalescing compact binary systems allow us to test gravity in its strong field regime. In order to better constrain alternative theories of gravity, one has to build template waveforms for these theories. In this talk, I will present a post-Newtonian Lagrangian approach adapted to the specificities of scalar-tensor theories. I will derive the equations of motion of a compact binary system at 3PN order in harmonic coordinates. This result is primordial in order to compute the scalar and gravitational waveforms at 2PN order.

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Thursday Nov 16, 2017

When two black holes merge, they 'ringdown' as they settle into a final Kerr black hole. The ringdown part of the gravitational wave signal probes the strong field gravity, enabling us to test the general theory of relativity (GR) in that regime. In this talk, I will focus on one particular challenge associated with the ringdown - "When does a ringdown start during a binary black hole merger?". Then I will end the talk with a brief summary of our prospects to perform GR tests with the ringdown signals using the current and future ground-based gravitational wave observatory.

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Thursday Sep 28, 2017

The long-awaited detection of gravitational waves has provided us with another source of information about the Universe. In this talk I will give an overview of how we extract information from gravitational wave signals with a focus on signals for which we do not have a definitive and reliable model for what the signal looks like. In particular I will describe how we can analyze the signal emitted after two neutron stars have merged. I will describe how the information extracted from such a signal can be used to place constrains on the equation of state of dense matter.

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