University of Connecticut

Events Calendar

Astronomy Seminar Series

Wednesday, April 25, 2018
2:00pm – 3:00pm

Storrs Campus

Luke Kelley, Astronomy and Astrophysics, Harvard University

LIGO has now detected Gravitational Waves (GW) from numerous, stellar-mass black-hole binary systems. Pulsar Timing Arrays can use the incredibly precise radio flashes from pulsars to measure GW from binaries of supermassive black-holes (SMBH). We use state-of-the-art, cosmological hydrodynamic-simulations ("Illustris") to model the mergers of galaxies and the SMBH they host. In this talk, I will outline the key physical processes which mediate the SMBH-binary merger process, and present our predictions for the GW signals that Pulsar Timing Arrays will observe. I will highlight the physical information about SMBH & SMBH-environments encoded in those GW signals, and discuss how long we'll have to wait for the first detections in this exciting new regime.

Luke Kelley is a finishing PhD student in the Harvard Astronomy Department, working with Prof. Lars Hernquist on Massive Black-Hole Binaries using data from the Illustris cosmological simulations. Luke's work makes important predictions for gravitational wave signals detectable by Pulsar Timing Arrays in the next decade. If you would like to meet with Luke, please email Cara Battersby ( to set up a time.


Prof. C. Battersby

Physics Department (primary), UConn Master Calendar

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