Chennai Mathematical Institute

Seminars




3.30 pm, Seminar Hall
The Dawn of Gravitational Wave Astronomy: Observation of Gravitational Waves from the merger of two black holes

K.G. Arun
Chennai Mathematical Institute.
02-03-16


Abstract

In 1916, the year after the final formulation of the field equations of general relativity, Albert Einstein predicted the existence of gravitational waves. Almost a century after the prediction, on September 14, 2015 at 09:50:45 UTC (15:20 IST) the two detectors of the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) simultaneously observed a transient gravitational-wave signal. The observed signal matches the waveform predicted by general relativity for the inspiral and merger of a pair of black holes and the ringdown of the resulting single black hole. The signal was observed with a matched-filter signal-to-noise ratio of 24 and false alarm rate estimated to be less than 1 event per 203 000 years, equivalent to a significance greater than 5.1σ. This discovery marks a beginning of a new and exciting era in astronomy, where the universe can be observed through a new window provided by Gravitational Waves.





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