, Lawrence Berkeley National Lab
[Host: Peter Arnold]
Black holes and neutron stars are extraordinary astrophysical laboratories.
They allow us to test the laws of gravity and nuclear physics in extreme environments which cannot be reproduced on Earth. In this talk, I will discuss efforts to model these compact objects in two classes of astrophysical systems: mergers of black hole-neutron star and neutron star-neutron star binaries, and accretion disks around supermassive black holes. The first are powerful sources of gravitational waves, and emit bright electromagnetic transients. In the advanced gravitational wave detector era, they will provide us with new information about general relativity, the properties of matter above nuclear density, and the population of black holes and neutron stars. The second will soon be imaged by the Event Horizon Telescope with enough accuracy to resolve the horizon of two black holes, and to study the behavior of the nearly collisionless plasma accreting onto them. I will in particular focus on the role of numerical simulations using general relativistic codes, which will play a crucial role in our interpretation of these upcoming observations.
Wednesday, March 1, 2017
Physics Building, Room 204
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