Monica Pate, Harvard Physics
Title: "Gravitational Memory in Higher Dimensions"
Abstract: A precise equivalence among Weinberg's soft graviton theorem, supertranslation conservation laws and the gravitational memory effect was previously established in theories of asymptotically flat gravity in four dimensions. Moreover, this triangle of equivalence was proposed to be a universal feature of generic theories of gauge and gravity. In theories of gravity in even dimensions greater than four, we show that there exists a universal gravitational memory effect which is precisely equivalent to the soft graviton theorem in higher dimensions and a set of conservation laws associated to infinite-dimensional asymptotic symmetries.
Zhong-Zhi Xianyu, Harvard Physics
Title: Aspects of Black Hole Binaries in Triple Systems
Abstract: Now that LIGO has revealed the existence of a large number of binary black holes, identifying their origin becomes an important challenge. For dynamically formed binaries which might reside in dense environments such as galactic centers or globular clusters, the binary orbits could possess observably large eccentricity at LIGO and future gravitational wave detectors. Measuring the eccentricity distribution accurately could help us probe the background and the formation of the mergers. I will describe an analytical approach to predict the eccentricity distribution in a dynamical channel with three-body interactions. Furthermore, I will show that the third-body-induced barycenter motion of the binaries and the eccentricity variations might be observable in future space gravitational wave detectors such as LISA which could provide direct information about the black hole binary environments and otherwise invisible ambient mass.