B. Schutz - VLBI for Gravitational Waves: How Networks Add Value

Bernard Schutz, Max-Planck Institute for Gravitational Physics, Albert-Einstein Institute: Gravitational Waves: VLBI for Gravitational Waves: How Networks Add Value 

Preceded by a students' lunch with Bernard Schutz and Sverre Aarseth at noon (at KIAA).


Fri, Oct. 27, 2010 (KIAA Institute Colloquium, Seminar Room): 3:00 p.m.

Gravitational wave detection has always required more than one detector, at a minimum to guarantee confidence that an event is real and not a random spurious glitch in a single detector. But for short bursts of gravitational waves, as from black hole mergers, three or more separated detectors are required to reconstruct all the information. With the recent start of the LCGT project in Japan, the existing LIGO and VIRGO detectors have gained a fourth site, and there might soon be a fifth in Australia. By combining their data coherently, essentially in the same way as radio astronomers combine VLBI data, these enlarged networks can cover more of the sky and operate reliably more of the time. The following could result, within the decade: the detection of several hundred neutron star binary mergers per year; the identification of a handful of gamma ray bursts per year with such mergers; the detection of hundreds of black hole mergers even out to redshifts bigger than 1; the measurement of the local Hubble constant with accuracies of a few percent; and the proof or disproof of the local void hypothesis.


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