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News from the Universe
The Virgo and two LIGO Gravitational Wave observatories are in observation mode. They detect more than one inspiral event per week, of Black Holes and Neutron Stars, and started making a strange picture of the collapsed-matter Universe.
Why are there so many heavy Black Holes out there? How did they form in the early Universe? Why so many inspirals? And also why BH pairs appear to come from random pairing and not from binary star systems? And on another front, how can pulsar neutron stars be spheres smoother than 20 µm over 12 km radius and still be rigid enough to generate the starquakes believed to cause the pulsar frequency glitches? These are some of the new questions we have to answer. We also learned about the source of at least one class of Gamma Ray Bursts, the galactic gold factories, and more.
A lifetime instrument maker, starting from the laser of his thesis in Pisa, then for 15 years in High Energy Physics (CERN and Cornell Lab for Nuclear Studies), finally 25 years on Gravitational Waves, on mechanical design of GW detectors (Virgo, TAMA, KAGRA and parts of LIGO), initially on seismic isolation, then on dissipation mechanisms and thermal noise in dielectric coating mirrors, the limiting factor of GW detection. Presently make a living developing sensors for FB, and work on coatings and GW developments as a personal hobby, with 3-4 students.