Light is how we have studied our Universe for millennia. In the last century we began to utilize matter, in the form of meteorites and astrophysical cosmic rays and neutrinos, for the same purpose. These carriers of information are referred to as messengers, the last of which are gravitational waves, directly detected by LIGO for the first time only a few years ago.
The new era of Multimessenger Astrophysics began on August 17th, 2017 when merging neutron stars were seen as gamma-rays and heard as gravitational waves. Observations of these events promise new insight into several fields of physics and can help answer some of the most existential questions including the origin of the elements, the ultimate fate of the Universe, and fundamental aspects of physics. I will discuss how we have come to understand these events, the momentous scientific results from the first and upcoming events, and the future missions we designed to fully utilize these unique astrophysical transients.
Thursday, January 30 at 3:30pm to 4:30pm