Astro Tuesday: Michael Zevin (KICP) and Aditya Vijaykumar (UChicago)

12:00–1:00 pm ERC 501

Host: Austin Joyce

Michael Zevin (KICP) "The eccentric journey of black holes in star clusters"

Strong encounters between black holes are a regular occurrence in star clusters. The chaotic gravitational dances that ensue can lead to rapid gravitational wave-driven mergers with eccentricities measurable by ground-based detectors such as LIGO. The observation of such signals is paramount in understanding the birth environments of merging black holes. In this talk, I'll show how eccentric black hole mergers are a natural byproduct of simple cluster dynamics, why they can be leveraged to vastly improve our understanding of formation environments, and how they may even be useful for cosmology.

Aditya Vijaykumar (UChicago) "Waltzing binaries: Probing line-of-sight acceleration of compact binary mergers"

Accelerated motion (eg. circular motion in galactic potential) is quite common in astrophysics. Signals from accelerating compact binaries will be modulated by a time-dependent Doppler redshift, an imprint of which can be measured from signals observed in gravitational-wave detectors. I will discuss how this acceleration can be modelled, under what conditions it is measurable, and how these measurements can be used to understand formation mechanisms of binary mergers.

Event Type


Feb 28