Northwestern University

Fri 4:00 PM

Colloquium: Dan Kasen: Light and Gravitational waves rom Neutron Star Mergers

When: Friday, November 30, 2018
4:00 PM - 5:00 PM  

Where: Technological Institute, L211, 2145 Sheridan Road, Evanston, IL 60208 map it

Audience: Faculty/Staff - Student - Public - Post Docs/Docs - Graduate Students

Contact: Yassaman   847.491.7650

Group: Physics and Astronomy Colloquia

Category: Academic


Just over one year ago, the merger of two neutron stars was detected in both gravitational and electromagnetic radiation. The event illuminated the fundamental physics of gravity and dense matter and addressed long standing questions as to the cosmic origin of the heavy elements. I will review our understanding of mergers -- grounded in theoretical simulations and experimental data -- and will describe how material expelled in these events can assemble into heavy nuclei via rapid neutron capture (the "r-process"). The radioactive glow of these freshly synthesized isotopes allows us to directly study r-process elements at their production site. I'll explain how joint observations of gravitational waves, high energy photons, and optical/infrared emission can be used to constrain the speed of gravity, the equation of state of dense matter, and the formation of heavy nuclei, and will look ahead to what future "multi-messenger" observations, combined with data from nuclear experiments, can tell us about the physics of compact object mergers and the cosmic origin of the heavy elements.

Seminar Speaker: Dan Kasen, UC Berkeley

 Host: Tchekhovskoy

Keywords: Physics, Astronomy, Seminar, Colloquium

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