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Department of Physics and Astronomy
University of Mississippi


Event Information:

  • Tue

    Colloquium: Experimental Gravity with Electromagnetic and Gravitational Waves

    4:00 pmLewis Hall 109

    Alejandro Cárdenas-Avendaño
    Department of Physics
    University of Illinois — Urbana-Champaign

    Experimental Gravity with Electromagnetic and Gravitational Waves

    Observations of black holes through the electromagnetic and gravitational spectrum have been used to understand their nature and the fundamental properties of the material in their vicinity. Our ability to learn about the underlying physics depends heavily on our understanding of the gravity theory that describes the geometry around these compact objects, and for the electromagnetic observations, also on the complex astrophysics that produces the observed radiation. In this talk, I will comment on our current ability to constrain and detect deviations from general relativity using (i) the electromagnetic radiation emitted by an accretion disk around a black hole, and (ii) the gravitational waves produced when comparable-mass black holes collide, and when a small compact object falls into a supermassive one in an extreme mass-ratio inspiral. I will also discuss the implications of assuming that General Relativity is correct a priori on the estimation of parameters of the astrophysical model when the data is not described by the Einstein’s theory, which can lead to a fundamental systematic bias.