Dense matter and gravitational waves: Listening to the symphony of space-time
In this talk, I will introduce the new field of gravitational-wave astronomy, which uses ripples in space and time originally predicted in Einstein's theory of gravity to learn about our universe. Ground-based gravitational-wave observatories currently under construction expect to directly measure waves from astronomical sources in the next few years. One of the most likely sources is the inspiral and merger of a neutron-star binary system, made up of incredibly dense stars that supernovae can leave behind. Measuring the gravitational-wave signals will allow us to learn about the mass and other properties of the neutron stars, and the details of these signals may also tell us something about currently-uncertain properties of extremely dense matter.
Dr. Jocelyn Read is originally from Calgary, Alberta, Canada and did her undergraduate degree at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver. She came to the U.S. for her Ph.D. in physics at the University of Wisconsin--Milwaukee, and did postdoctoral research work at the Albert Einstein Institute near Berlin in Germany and at the University of Mississippi in Oxford, Mississippi. Dr. Read became an assistant professor at California State University Fullerton in 2012. She teaches courses in both astronomy and physics and regularly contributes to a general-audience physics podcast, the "Titanium Physicists" Podcast.
"What's Up?" in this month will be presented by Chris Butler