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Astrophysical Implications of the LIGO Detections

Event Details

Event Dates: 

Monday, March 7, 2016 - 4:00pm

Seminar Location: 

  • JILA Auditorium

Speaker Name(s): 

Phil Armitage

Speaker Affiliation(s): 

University of Colorado
Seminar Type/Subject

Scientific Seminar Type: 

  • Astrophysical & Planetary Sciences Seminar

Event Details & Abstract: 

On February 11, 2016, the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) reported the detection of gravitational waves from both Livingston (LA) and Hanford (WA) sites. The signals (see figure) were consistent with the in-spiral and merger of two black holes of masses of 29 Msun and 36 Msun in a galaxy 1.3 (+/-0.3) billion light years away. In a brief time of 0.2 seconds, the source radiated away an energy of 5x10^54 ergs, equivalent to losing a rest mass (Mc^2) of 3 solar masses. This talk will explore the astrophysical implications of the formation and evolution of such binary-BH sources and the future of gravitational-wave astronomy.