University of Minnesota
School of Physics & Astronomy

MN Institute for Astrophysics Journal Club

Thursday, February 7th 2019
Speaker: Michael Coughlin, California Institute of Technology
Subject: Searching for compact binaries in the gravitational-wave and optical time domain
Today's Journal Club meeting will be the faculty candidate presentation

Binary neutron star mergers provide one of the richest laboratories for studying physics with ground-based interferometric gravitational-wave detectors such as advanced LIGO and Virgo. After such a merger, a compact remnant is left over whose nature depends primarily on the masses of the inspiralling objects and on the equation of state of nuclear matter. We will discuss the search for post-merger signals from GW170817. In addition, we will describe ongoing searches for the detection of transients like GW170817 in electromagnetic wavelengths. With the Zwicky Transient Facility (ZTF) recently achieving first light, it is now fruitful to use its unprecedented combination of depth, field of view, and survey cadenceto perform Target of Opportunity observations. We willdemonstrate on short gamma-ray bursts how it is possible to use this system to do follow-up on this scale. Finally, we will discuss the ongoing efforts to use ZTF and a new instrument at the Kitt Peak 2.1m to find and characterize white dwarf binaries.

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