The electromagnetic counterpart of the gravitational wave source GW170817
Last updated November 10, 2017 by Alessandro Ferraro
Wednesday, November 8 2017, 03:00 PM, Bell Lecture Theatre
Speaker: Stephen Smartt (QUB)
On 17th Aug 2017, a strong source of gravitational waves was detected by the LIGO-Virgo collaboration. The signal lasted for 60 secs and the event was followed just 2 seconds later by a short burst of gamma-rays detected by Fermi and Integral. All sources had consistent sky positions within about 30 square degrees. A fast fading electromagnetic counterpart (from x-ray to radio waves) was discovered and studied intensively for several weeks. I will present the results of this unprecedented discovery, the first electromagnetic counterpart of a gravitational wave source, the first identification of a neutron star – neutron star merger and the first direct evidence of the source and origin of the r-process elements. It is truly the era of “multi-messenger” astrophysics and opens up many new opportunities to probe extreme astrophysics, cosmology and the origin of the elements heavier than iron.
We are a Research Cluster of the School of Mathematics and Physics at Queen’s University Belfast in Northern Ireland. Our research interests are focused primarily on computational and theoretical physics.
The Old Physics Building,
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