Black Holes, Supercomputers and Gravitational Waves
Feb 2, 2011
3:20PM to 4:20PM
Date(s) - 02/02/2011
3:20 pm - 4:20 pm
Title: Black Holes, Supercomputers and Gravitational Waves
Speaker: Dr. Harald Pfeiffer, Univ of Toronto
Institute: University of Toronto
Location: ABB 102
Einstein’s theory of general relativity makes several astonishing predictions. Among them are black holes, regions of space-time with such high warpage that not even light can escape, and gravitational waves, perturbations of space-time itself which travel at the speed of light. Binary black holes generate copious amount of gravity waves, so their study sheds light of both aspects of general relativity.
The last few years have been transformative for the study of binary black holes. Numerical simulations have matured, making it possible to predict the outcome of the inspiral and merger of two black holes, and allowing to test analytical perturbative solutions of Einstein’s equations. Gravitational wave detectors are in operation, and with second generation facilities, direct detection of gravitational waves is a distinct possibility. This talk will explore all these topics, using numerical simulations of binary black holes as the unifying theme.