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Life after Death: Transient Emission from Compact Objects in Galactic Nuclei

Event Details

Event Dates: 

Monday, February 5, 2018 - 4:00pm

Seminar Location: 

  • JILA Auditorium

Speaker Name(s): 

Nick Stone

Speaker Affiliation(s): 

Columbia University
Seminar Type/Subject

Scientific Seminar Type: 

  • Astrophysical & Planetary Sciences Colloquia

Event Details & Abstract: 

In most regions of the Universe, stellar orbits have enormous mean free paths, and the timescale for a strong two-body encounter exceeds a Hubble time. However, in dense stellar systems, such as open, globular, and nuclear star clusters, close encounters between stars and/or compact objects are frequent, and may lead to the production of transient electromagnetic or gravitational-wave radiation. I will present my research showing how the densest stellar systems in the Universe — galactic nuclei — are dynamical factories that manufacture transient sources such as X-ray binaries, stellar collisions, tidal disruption events, and LIGO-band black hole mergers. I will then discuss my past and ongoing work to understand the transient electromagnetic and gravitational radiation from these dynamically assembled systems, focusing especially on ways in which time domain astronomy can probe general relativity.

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