Title: Gravitational waves: opening a new window on the universe
LIGO detected ripples in the fabric of the universe -- gravitational waves -- produced when pairs of black holes and a pair of neutron stars coalesced. And after the merging neutron star, we saw a gamma-ray flash, followed by
slowly-decaying spot of light. These measurements are transforming our understanding of cosmic phenomena. That's only the tip of the iceberg, though: we'll detect more soon. These ripples will unveil a new window on the universe, giving us access to the most luminous, exotic, and mysterious phenomena in astrophysics. In this talk I'll discuss how Einstein's legacy will enable a new perspective into our universe.
Richard O'Shaughnessy received his PhD from Caltech with Kip Thorne in 2003, and has been working on gravitational waves ever since. After postdoctoral fellowships at Northwestern, Penn State, and UWM, he joined the RIT faculty in 2014 as a member of the Center for Computational Relativity and Gravitation. His work is on theoretical gravitational wave astrophysics, developing methods to discover and interpret the ripples in the fabric of the universe produced by merging compact binaries: black holes and neutron stars.