The imminent detection of gravitational waves will allow us to see the Universe in a new way. In particular, it will enable us to directly observe objects which do not emit electromagnetic radiation, such as black holes. The most likely sources of detectable gravitational waves are binary systems of black holes or neutron stars. Tidal forces play an important role in these systems, deforming the bodies involved and impacting their gravitational wave signal. The tidal deformations are characterized by a set of constants, known as Love numbers, which depend on the internal structure of the astronomical body. In this talk, I will show how gravitational waves come about in general relativity, introduce the Love numbers, and explain how they can be measured from the gravitational waveform, thereby providing valuable information about the composition of the source.
Graduate Seminar Series
The seminar series consists of weekly talks designed and delivered by graduate students within the department. The goal of this project is to expose upper-level undergraduates to current physics research. The talks are aimed at the fourth-year level, but all are welcome and encouraged to attend.