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Gravitational Waves: The Birth of a New Area of Astronomy

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On September 14th and December 26th, 2015, the Advanced LIGO detectors observed two gravitational wave signals, each from the merger of stellar-mass black holes. These two observations have given us the first glimpse in to the population of stellar mass black holes. In this talk I will discuss these first detections of gravitational waves including the non-detection of gravitational waves from the merger of binary neutron star and neutron star black holes systems. I will also describe the LIGO interferometers, their current state and the future of this exciting new field of gravitational-wave astronomy.