GW190521 - Discovery of Black Holes that Should Not Exist

Playing this video requires the latest flash player from Adobe.

Download link (right click and 'save-as') for playing in VLC or other compatible player.

Recording Details

Scientific Areas: 
PIRSA Number: 


The new gravitational-wave signal GW190521in LIGO and Virgo marks the first observational detection of the elusive intermediate-mass black holes. The detection also confirms there exist a new class of black holes in the mass gap predicted by the pair-instability supernovae theory. In this talk, I will discuss the process that went behind inferring the astrophysical properties of this historic discovery. I would briefly address the alternative scenarios we looked into for a possible exotic origin of this signal, including any violation of General Relativity. For the upcoming ESA/NASA space mission LISA, I would highlight how this discovery opens a unique epoch of multi-band, multi-messenger astronomy.