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Binary evolution: a multi-messenger, multi-band puzzle

Binary evolution: a multi-messenger, multi-band puzzle

Monday, May 6, 2024 at 4:00 pm
116 Weniger
Prof. Katelyn Breivik, Carnegie Mellon University, Physics

Abstract: Recent observations of gravitational waves from merging double-compact-object binaries have reignited an explosive interest in the formation and evolution of compact objects in binary-star systems. However, by the time a compact-object binary merges and produces the gravitational-wave signals we observe, much of the evolutionary history of the system is washed away. By combining binary population synthesis simulations with gravitational-wave and electromagnetic observations, we can constrain uncertain processes that govern the evolution of binary stars from their birth through to compact object formation and merger. In this talk I will introduce a community developed population synthesis code: COSMIC and highlight recent work which explores ways to combine binary population simulations with current and future data from gravitational wave and electromagnetic surveys to constrain the formation and evolution of binary-star populations.

Brief Bio: Katie is an assistant professor at Carnegie Mellon University. Prior to that she has held postdoctoral fellowships at the Flatiron Institute and Canadian Institute for Theoretical Astrophysics after finishing her PhD in Physics and Astronomy at Northwestern University. Her research focuses on connecting large simulated populations of binary stars to observations from gravitational-wave and electromagnetic surveys to infer how binary-star interactions are imprinted into observable binary populations. She's especially interested in the development and support of open and user-friendly software.

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