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Sun, Jul 21, 2024

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Colliding Galaxies and Monster Black Holes  (Conferences / Seminars / Lectures)

Lecture title: Colliding Galaxies and Monster Black Holes
Abstract: Supermassive black holes are millions to billions of times the mass of the Sun and reside in the centers of most galaxies (including our own Milky Way). When two galaxies collide, the effects on their central supermassive black holes can be dramatic. Galaxy mergers funnel gas towards their centers, where it creates spectacularly bright fireworks as it spirals into the black holes. Eventually the two black holes form a close binary pair, emitting powerful gravitational waves as they spiral toward each other and merge to form one larger black hole. Gravitational waves-ripples in the fabric of spacetime-were first detected by the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory in 2015, a discovery that was awarded the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics. Now we stand on the cusp of the next frontier: detections of low-frequency gravitational waves from supermassive black hole binaries. I will describe our recent work to model supermassive black hole populations across cosmic time and make predictions for gravitational-wave sources, using large simulations of galaxy collisions and cosmological volumes.

more information...

Location: Facility for Rare Isotope Beams [map]
Price: Free
Sponsor: public
Contact: Bob Patterer
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