In Search of Merging Supermassive Black Holes: Synergy of Electromagnetic and Gravitational Wave Signatures

02/02/2010 - 10:00am to 11:00am
Tamara Bogdanović
Speaker affiliation: 
University of Maryland

Coincident detections of electromagnetic (EM) and gravitational wave (GW) signatures from coalescence events of supermassive black holes (SMBHs) are considered to be the next observational grand challenge. They will provide the means to study accretion processes associated with these massive objects as well as cosmological measurements of high precision. Currently, a statistically significant sample of merging SMBHs is yet to be attained and finding them in EM searches is a difficult task. I will discuss observational and theoretical strategies that can improve understanding of observational signatures of SMBH binaries and help future searches. I will also talk about recent theoretical developments in form of fully general relativistic, hydrodynamical studies of the inspiral and merger of SMBHs in gaseous environment.

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