CfA Colloquium Schedule Spring 2010
 18 March 2010

18 March 2010

Speaker: Vicky Kalogera (Northwestern)

Title:Binary Compact Objects and their Powerful Astrophysics

Abstract:Close binary systems harboring two compact objects play a prominent role in a wide range of astrophysics areas, powering some of the most energetic events in nature. In this talk I will highlight them in the context of gravitational-wave searches and the quest for uncovering the origin of gamma-ray bursts. I will review our current understanding of the formation frequency of binary compact objects, their expected gravitational-wave signatures and the challenges facing gravitational-wave astronomy. I will also discuss how studies of formation and evolution of binary compact objects couple to the star formation history in the nearby Universe and potentially provide an explanation of current gamma-ray burst observations.

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