University of Connecticut

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Astronomy Seminar

Monday, February 15, 2016
2:00pm – 3:30pm

Storrs Campus
Gant Science Complex, Physics, Room PB-121

Dr. Sarah B. Spolaor, Jansky Fellow, NRAO Socorro, Socorro, NM

“The Brightness of Gravity”

The first direct detection of gravitational waves will be a milestone of modern physics. Before and after that momentous occasion, however, studies of the electromagnetic signals from target sources are critical; neither light nor gravitational radiation tells a complete physical story. Electromagnetic studies can provide key information about how bright, from where, and of what form, gravitational waves will be. Electromagnetic emission can also allow the critical step of confirming a gravitational-wave detection. On the other hand, limits on or a detection of gravitational radiation by detectors like pulsar timing arrays and LIGO can help us measure unique properties of target populations. In this presentation I will describe studies in "gravitational wave astrophysics," which investigate gravitational-wave source populations through their light and their gravitation. I will focus on the study of binary supermassive black holes that are thought to form during the course of mergers, and which are expected to be radio, optical, and X-ray emitters in addition to being the brightest gravitational-wave targets for pulsar timing arrays.


Dawn Rawlinson, 486-4916,

Physics Department (primary)

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