CfA Colloquium Schedule Fall 2009
 5 November 2009

5 November 2009

Speaker: Scott Hughes (MIT)

Title:The gravitational two-body problem in general relativity

Abstract:A simple problem in Newtonian gravity, the motion of two bodies about one another is far more challenging in general relativity (GR). Motivated largely by the anticipated importance of compact binaries as gravitational-wave sources, many years of effort have produced a suite of tools for modeling binaries with GR. In this talk, I will present an overview of how we model these sources in GR and what we have learned from the relativistic two-body problem. I will focus in particular on how unique aspects of relativistic gravity flavor the gravitational waves which binaries generate, and how these flavorings can be exploited to learn about compact bodies, especially black holes. I will emphasize analogs between the GR analysis and electromagnetic theory, hopefully demonstrating that the rich features of these models are in fact surprisingly intuitive.

Video of the Presentation (Talks can be viewed with RealPlayer. Free download is available from )


Section Photo