26 April 2001CfA Colloquium


Title: Gravitational Waves from Compact Object Inspiral: Detection Prospects and Challenges

Speaker: Vassiliki Kalogera

Abstract: The first ground-based laser interferometers (such as LIGO) designed for the detection of cosmic gravitational-wave sources are expected to become operational in the near future. Some of the best candidates for the direct detection of gravitational radiation are close binaries with two compact objects (neutron stars or black holes) inspiraling because of gravitational-wave emission. In this talk I will give a simple introduction to gravitational waves, the laser interferometer detectors soon to come on line, and the basic methods to be employed for the study of compact-object inspiral. I will discuss the most up-to-date expectations for the LIGO detection rates as well as some of the challenges that lie ahead.

Reference for students:

General:

``The Search for Gravity Waves'' by G.H. Sanders and D. Beckett, Sky & Telescope, Oct 2000

``LIGO and the Detection of Gravitational Waves'' by B.C. Barish and R. Weiss, Physics Today, Oct 1999

More specialized:

``The Coalescence Rate of Double Neutron Star Systems'', V. Kalogera et al. 2001, ApJ, in press (astro-ph/0012038)

``Event Rates for Binary Inspiral'', V. Kalogera & K. Belczynski 2001, in press (astro-ph/0101047)

``An Upper Limit on the Coalescence Rate of Double Neutron-Star Binaries in the Galaxy'', V. Kalogera & D. Lorimer 2000, ApJ, 530, 890-895

Lunch with the students will be on Friday, April 27th at 12:00 in A-101.