Breakthrough! The detection of gravitational waves from a neutron star merger
On August 17th 2017 the LIGO-Virgo interferometer detected gravitational waves from a neutron star merger in a galaxy 130 million light years away. This was a breakthrough for physics and astronomy. What followed was a
frenzy of activity as astronomers around the world worked to detect electromagnetic radiation with conventional telescopes. After this unprecedented effort the event was detected in gamma-rays, x-rays, visible light and radio waves. I will discuss this incredible scientific result and its implications, including: predictions made by Einstein; the production of gold and other heavy elements; and our understanding of black hole formation. I will also give a 'behind the scenes' perspective of how it happened, and discuss the changes in the way we do science in this era of big astronomy.
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Cataclysmic Collision Artist’s illustration of two merging neutron stars. Image credit: NSF/LIGO/Sonoma State University/A. Simonnet
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Presenters: Assoc. Prof. Tara Murphy, Sydney Institute of Astronomy, University of Sydney
Date: Friday 23 November 2018
Venue: Swinburne University, ATC building, ATC101 (enter via Burwood road)
Time: 6.30 to 7.30pm
map: http://www.swinburne.edu.au/media/swinburneeduau/about-swinburne/docs/pdfs/hawthorn-map.pdf
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