Strong Gravity

This series consists of talks in areas where gravity is the main driver behind interesting or peculiar phenomena, from astrophysics to gravity in higher dimensions.

Seminar Series Events/Videos

Currently there are no upcoming talks in this series.

 

Thursday Apr 08, 2010
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Coincident detections of electromagnetic and gravitational wave signatures from the merger of supermassive binary black holes are the next observational grand challenge. Such detections will provide a wealth of opportunities to study gravitational physics, accretion physics, and cosmology. Understanding the conditions under which coincidences of electromagnetic and gravitational wave signatures arise during supermassive black hole mergers is therefore of paramount importance, requiring multi-scale/physics computational modeling.

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Monday Apr 05, 2010
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For the past century, there has been much discussion and debate about the equations of motion satisfied by a classical point charge when the effects of its own electromagnetic field are taken into account. Derivations by Abraham (1903), Lorentz (1904), Dirac (1938) and others suggest that the "self-force" (or "radiation reaction force") on a point charge is given in the non-relativistic limit by a term proportional to the time derivative of the acceleration of the charge.

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Thursday Mar 25, 2010
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Gas accretion onto black holes is thought to power some of the most energetic astrophysical phenomena observed. Black hole accretion disks are efficient engines for converting binding energy into light, and for launching relativistic unbound flows (jets) such as in gamma ray bursts, microquasars and radio-loud active galactic nuclei (AGN). Some systems individually exhibit a wide variety of spectral and bolometric states while others remain remarkably predictable. As

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Thursday Mar 11, 2010
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Galaxy mergers, which are a natural consequence of hierarchical assembly of galaxies, are expected to produce binary black holes, which subsequently merge. The detection and analysis of gravitational waves from these sources is the major aim of the next generation gravitational wave detector: LISA, the Laser Interferometric Space Antenna.

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Thursday Feb 25, 2010
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Binary neutron stars are among the most important sources of gravitational waves which are expected to be detected by the current or next generation of gravitational wave detectors, such as LIGO and Virgo, and they are also thought to be at the origin of very important astrophysical phenomena, such as short gamma-ray bursts. In order to describe the dynamics of these events one needs to solve the full set of general relativistic magnetohydrodynamics equations through the use of parallel numerical codes.

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Thursday Jan 28, 2010
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Einstein’s general theory of relativity is the standard theory of gravity, especially where the modern needs of astronomy, astrophysics, cosmology and fundamental physics are concerned. As such, this theory is used for many practical purposes involving spacecraft navigation, geodesy, time transfer and etc. Series of recent experiments have successfully tested general relativity to a remarkable precision.

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Thursday Dec 10, 2009

In quantum field theory it is possible to create negative local energy densities. This would violate the Generalized Second Law (GSL) unless there is some sort of energy condition requiring the negative energy to be counterbalanced by positive energy. TO explore what this energy condition is, I will assume that the GSL holds in semiclassical gravity for all future causal horizons. From CPT symmetry it follows that the time-reverse of the GSL, properly understood, holds for all past causal horizons.

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Friday Dec 04, 2009
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One of the main science objectives for the Laser Interferometer Space Antenna (LISA) is to quantitatively map the strong field regions around compact objects using Extreme-Mass-Ratio Inspirals (EMRIs). This idea has been shown to be possible in principle, however in practice only inspirals in a Kerr spacetime have been studied in detail. A spacetime mapping algorithm for an EMRI inspiral into a generic compact object is formulated using ideas from integrable systems. I discuss several aspects of the theoretical development required to make the problem tractable.

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