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Gravitational-Wave Research Seminar

Tuesday, May 7, 2019
4:00pm to 5:00pm
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Cahill, Hameetman Auditorium
Gravitational Wave Sources at the Heart of Galaxies
Smadar Naoz, Department of Physics & Astronomy, UCLA,

Almost every galaxy, our own Milky Way included, has a supermassive black hole (SMBH) in its heart. Around these black holes are the densest stellar structures in the Universe. Nowhere are gravitational interactions more complex and violent than within nuclear star clusters around SMBHs at the center of nearly all galaxies. I will show that these places naturally result in high abundance of stellar-mass black holes mergers. In particular, the stellar-mass BH merger rate in these places is comparable to other dynamical channels suggested in the literature as an explanation for LIGO's recent detections. Moreover, I'll discuss other potential gravitational wave sources of which the complex nature of the heart of galaxies gives rise to. Finally, I will then provide specific predictions aimed at disentangling mergers in these systems from other sources using LIGO, LISA as well as detecting unique electromagnetic components from these sources.

For more information, please contact Jonah Kanner by email at or visit CaJAGWR Home Page.