Probing frontiers of fundamental physics and astrophysics with numerical relativity

Date and Time


Summerlee Science Complex, Room 1511



Vasileios Paschalidis


The coalescence of black hole-black hole (BHBH), black hole-neutron star (BHNS) and neutron star-neutron star (NSNS) systems are among the most promising sources of gravitational waves (GWs) detectable by Advanced LIGO/Virgo and NANOGrav. In addition, distinct observable electromagnetic radiation may accompany these GWs. Such "multi-messenger" sources can be powerful probes of fundamental physics such as the state of matter under extreme conditions, cosmology, as well as our theories of gravity. However, the identification, detection and interpretation of multimessenger signals from such sources requires careful theoretical modeling through the last stages of the compact binary inspiral, during which all approximations to general relativity break down. The only avenue to theoretically understanding these highly non-linear systems is solving the Einstein equations with the aid of supercomputers. This task is far from trivial: ill-posed formulations of the Einstein equations, gauge issues, the presence of singularities, shocks, and large range of length and time scales inherent to these systems pose strong theoretical and computational challenges. In this talk I will review these challenges, describe state-of-the-art numerical relativity techniques that overcome them, and present results from recent supercomputer simulations of binary NSNSs, and BHBHs around magnetized disks. I will conclude by discussing future directions and applications of numerical relativity.


Coffee and Refreshments will be available prior to the seminar in MacN 218.

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