BHI Colloquium, March 6 | "Coherent Stacking of Multiple Gravitational Wave Events," Frans Pretorius | "Neutron Stars and Stellar Mergers as a Laboratory for Dense QCD Matter," Aleksi Vuorinen


Tuesday, March 6, 2018, 1:30pm to 2:30pm


BHI Conference Room (211) 20 Garden Street, Cambridge

Frans Pretorius
Princeton University

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 hole mergers 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.


Aleksi Vuorinen
Helsinki Institute of Physics

Outside the interiors of black holes, neutron stars contain the densest forms of matter in our present-day Universe. This makes them a unique laboratory for strong interaction physics, as novel phases of QCD matter may be present in their extremely dense cores, or produced at the high temperatures reached in stellar mergers. In my talk, I will concentrate on the quantitative constraints that various types of neutron star observations, including the gravitational wave signatures of their mergers, have recently set for the properties of dense nuclear and quark matter. In particular, I will demonstrate that the Equation of State of cold and dense QCD matter is significantly constrained by the known existence of two-solar-mass stars and by the recent LIGO constraint on the tidal deformabilities of the two stars involved in the gravitational wave observation GW170817.

See also: Astronomy