Gravitational Waves & Black Holes

January 5, 2024


What do we know about the life of a black hole? Gravitational waves were predicted by Albert Einstein in 1916. In 2015, the seminal first detection was made of a signal that came from two black holes, spiralling around each other before crashing together. Since then almost 100 gravitational wave signals have been detected. But there is one big unanswered question: how do merging binary black holes form? Do the black holes live long lives in each other’s company, or meet only shortly before they merge? This talk explores the different ways in which binary black holes can form by observing gravitational waves and drawing out details of the biographies of the binaries that produced them.

Dr Isobel Romero-Shaw, Herschel Smith Research Fellow, University of Cambridge

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