The Search for Gravitational Waves

Speaker: 
Mike Landry (LIGO Hanford/ Caltech/ Virgo)
Event Date and Time: 
Thu, 2016-03-03 14:00 - 15:00
Location: 
TRIUMF Auditorium


On Sep 14, 2015, the two interferometric detectors of the Laser Interferometer Gravitational Wave Observatory (LIGO) detected gravitational waves from a binary black hole system. Denoted GW150914, the signal swept in frequency from 35Hz to 250Hz, and had a peak gravitational-wave strain of 1.0e-21.  This is the first direct detection of gravitational waves and the first observation of a binary black hole merger.

In this talk we will review elements of LIGO in the context of the detection: gravitational waves and sources, the status of the second-generation interferometric detectors, and the first observing run of Advanced LIGO, O1. We discuss the detection of the binary black hole system, and some of the physics and astrophysics conclusions that are drawn from the data. We close with an outlook on the future.

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