CCA Colloquium: Sarah Burke Spolaor
Title:Hunting for the Biggest Binary Black Holes
Abstract: Binary black holes store enormous energy, and in turn can be the brightest sources in the universe of electromagnetic and gravitational radiation. When galaxies merge, these giant binaries can form in rich environments with extended interactions with gas, stars, dust in their vicinity. If they turn on as AGN, we can potentially identify them via a large number of smoking-gun signatures. During their inspiral and coalescence phases, they will produce intense gravitational radiation, which we expect to detect with gravitational-wave observatories like Pulsar Timing Arrays and LISA in the coming decade. So why haven’t we detected any yet, definitively? This talk will discuss emission signatures from binary supermassive black holes, the exciting latest results from pulsar timing arrays, and efforts to discover both gravitational and electromagnetic waves from these massive systems.