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.
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.
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.
I present an overview of how inspiral-merger-ringdown (IMR) waveforms are currently being used within LIGO and Virgo search efforts. I'll discuss search strategies from the two major astrophysics working groups within t he LIGO/Virgo collaboration searching for transient gravitational-wave signals - the Compact Binary Coalescence group and the Burst Group.
With the imminent detection of gravitational waves by ground-based interferometers, such as LIGO, VIRGO and TAMA, pulsar timing observations, and proposed space-borne detectors, such as LISA, we must ask ourselves: how much do we trust general relativity? The confirmation of general relativity through Solar System experiments and binary pulsar observations has proved its validity in the weak-field, where velocities are small and gravity is weak, but no such tests exist in the strong, dynamical regime, precisely the regime of most interest to gravitational wave observations.
The uncertainty in the equation of state of cold matter above nuclear density is notorious. Despite four decades of neutron-star observations, recent observational estimates of neutron-star radii still range from 8 to 16 km; the pressure above nuclear density is not known to better than a factor of 5; and one cannot yet rule out the possibility that the ground state of cold matter at zero pressure might be strange quark matter -- that the term "neutron star" is a misnomer for strange quark stars.