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FTheory: Getting the Most Out of Gravitational Wave Merger Observations

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Frans Pretorius, Princeton University
When
30 March 2018 from 10:00 AM to 11:00 AM
Where
320 Whitmore Lab
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Within the next few years we can anticipate that the LIGO/Virgo detectors will have observed many tens or even hundreds of binary compact object merger events. One avenue to extract more information from this catalog is to stack the signals from a subset of events that are expected to share a common feature, enhancing the effective signal-to-noise ratio that the feature can be measured with. Thanks to the uniqueness properties of black holes in Einstein gravity, binary black holes are ideal targets for stacking, allowing for stringent tests of dynamical, strong-field gravity, or detecting deviations from the predictions of general relativity. I will describe an initial study exploring the utility of stacking to detect higher-order quasi-normal ringdown modes post-merger. Though binary neutron star systems do not share such a uniqueness property, there may nevertheless be aspects of merger signals that could be enhanced using stacking. I will discuss one such example that would seek to detect a post-merger signal from the subclass of events where a hypermassive remnant forms. 

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