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TAPIR Seminar

Friday, May 20, 2022
2:00pm to 3:00pm
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Cahill 370
What compact-object mergers (and re-mergers) can tell us about astrophysics
Chase Kimball, Graduate Student, Department of Physics & Astronomy, CIERA, Northwestern University,

In person and online -- to Join via Zoom

Among the discoveries in LIGO/Virgo/KAGRA's third observing run are a handful of compact binary coalescences (CBCs) that stand out for one reason or another -- exceptional either because they were the first entry in a previously undetected class of CBCs, or because of the mass, mass ratio, or spins of their component compact objects. After briefly discussing the implications of these observations and their merger rates, I will focus on the tension that has arisen from the discovery of the most massive binaries in the LVK gravitational-wave catalogs. These binaries have component black holes encroaching on the pair-instability mass gap, where black holes are not expected to be formed directly from stars. I'll discuss an alternate formation channel, where massive black holes are assembled dynamically through repeated binary black hole mergers, and an analysis that constructs a binary black hole population that accounts for this "hierarchical formation" and allows us to identify potential hierarchical mergers in gravitational-wave catalogs.

For more information, please contact JoAnn Boyd by phone at 626-395-4280 or by email at [email protected].