Institute of Astronomy

Insights into Stellar and Binary Evolution from Gravitational-wave Observations of Merging Compact Objects

SpeakerTalk DateTalk Series
Simon Stevenson28 July 2016Binary Stars Talks

Abstract

Advanced LIGO recently announced the first direct observations of gravitational-waves from the merger of stellar mass black holes. It is reasonable to expect more detections to follow in the next few years. Compact binaries containing neutron stars and black holes form as the end product of the evolution of massive stars in close binaries. There remain many poorly understood processes in the lives of massive stars and the evolution of close binary systems. Examples of these processes include the distribution of supernova kicks received by compact objects at birth, uncertainties in mass transfer and the common envelope event. One way of attempting to understand these processes is to attempt to constrain them observationally. Here we present a framework for using future gravitational-wave observations of compact binary mergers to constrain stellar and binary evolution.

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