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Isabel Rodriguez MS Thesis Defense

Isabel Rodriguez MS Thesis Defense

Friday, February 26, 2021 at 9:00 am
Isabel Rodriguez

One hundred and thirty million years ago, two neutron stars in the galaxy NGC4993 collided and merged. This event produced gravitational radiation and launched a relativistic jet, both of which were detected on August 17th 2017. Dubbed GW170817, this landmark discovery marked the first time gravitational waves were detected jointly with electromagnetic radiation (gamma-rays), as well as provided the first empirical evidence that merging binary neutron stars are 1) progenitors of short gamma-ray bursts, and 2) primary sites of the nucleosynthetic rapid-neutron capture process. Follow-up observations made with dozens of ground and space telescopes revealed the presence of a kilonova explosion in addition to a gamma-ray burst afterglow, giving us a nearly complete timeline of events.

In this talk, we'll explore the limits of the information we can gather from light alone, and how by connecting astrophysical data with numerical models using statistical techniques we can begin to overcome these limitations and improve our understanding of both short gamma-ray bursts and neutron star matter.

Davide Lazzati