Physics Colloquium: Rosalba Perna, "Binary compact object mergers in the gravitational wave era"

The City College of the City University of New York
New York, NY 10031

Physics Department

Wednesday, November 4, 2020 from 04:00 PM to 05:00 PM

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Contact Name                         Sriram Ganeshan

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Physics Colloquium

Binary compact object mergers in the gravitational wave era.

Rosalba Perna

Professor of Physics and Astronomy
Stony Brook University
Visiting Scholar at Simons Foundation, Flatiron Institute
Center for Computational Astrophysics (CCA)

The observation of gravitational waves has opened a new, unexplored window onto the Universe.  Among the sources of gravitational wave transients, compact objects such as neutron stars (NSs) and black holes (BHs) play the most important role. In this talk, I will focus on the expected gravitational wave signal when two compact objects (NS-NS and NS-BH) in a binary merge. These events are believed to be accompanied by a strong electromagnetic signature in gamma-rays, followed by longer-wavelength radiation.  I will discuss what can be learned from the complementary observations of the electromagnetic and the gravitational wave signals during these events.

Prof. Perna is a theoretical astrophysicist with broad research interests. These include gamma-ray bursts, magnetars, X-ray binaries, ultra-luminous X-ray sources, gravitational lensing, the interstellar medium, the assembly and growth of supermassive black holes, axions, the atmospheres of hot Jupiters. Currently, she is especially working in the areas of gravitational waves, binary compact object mergers, and electromagnetic counterparts to binary compact object mergers.

She holds a PhD in Physics from Harvard, and a music degree (piano diploma) from the Conservatory of Music of Potenza, Italy. She was hired at Stony Brook from the faculty at CU Boulder; prior to that she held positions as Lyman Spitzer Fellow at Princeton and Harvard Junior Fellow.