Fri, 11/08/2019 - 3:10pm to 4:00pm
DeMeritt 240
Colloquium
Dr. Lionel London, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Immediate Challenges for Gravitational Wave Signal Modeling

The years following the LIGO-Virgo collaboration’s September 14th, 2015 breakthrough detection of gravitational waves have been filled by marked advances in our ability to detect and infer the source parameters of merging binary black hole systems. Many of these advances have been driven by ongoing efforts to interface analytic theory with the results of numerical simulation to yield increasingly complete and precise models for gravitational wave signals, from the perspective of current earth based detectors. By way of these signal modeling efforts, we now know how to model the subdominant radiative multipole moments of binary black hole coalescence; however, untangling old assumptions to yield more precise models remains a challenge on multiple fronts. Gravitational wave astronomy’s ability to quantify the limits of General Relativity, and identify exotic astrophysical objects are quite likely at stake. This talk will contain a review of recent developments in gravitational wave signal modeling, followed by an overview of current challenges and contentious open problems.