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A Walk on the Warped Side: the era of gravitational-wave astronomy

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LIGO's first observing run which ended in January 2016 yielded two unambiguous gravitational wave signals (GW150914 and GW151226) from the merger of binary black holes as well as a possible third signal (LVT151012). I will review our current estimates of the parameters of the source systems as well as possible formation scenarios. I will discuss how joint analyses of GW150914 and GW151226 allow us to place bounds on departures from general relativity, infer astrophysical binary black hole formation rates, and constrain the mass distribution of coalescing black hole systems. Additionally, I will review the status of searches for other types of gravitational wave signals in data from LIGO's first observing run as well as the implications of the nondetection of gravitational waves from the merger of binary neutron star and neutron-star-black-hole systems. Finally, with the start of LIGO's second observing run within the next few weeks, I will outline our expectations for new detections and scientific prospects.