Event

Apr 18, 2019 3:45 pm - Nielsen Hall 170 - Colloquium
Kelly Holley-Bockelmann - Vanderbilt
Supermassive Black Holes as Revealed by LISA: How Gravitational Wave Astronomy Will be a Game Changer

Astronomers now know that supermassive black holes, with masses millions to billions of times that of our Sun, are in nearly every galaxy. Though these black holes are an observational certainty, nearly every aspect of their evolution -- from their birth, to their fuel source, to their basic dynamics -- is a matter of lively debate.  Fortunately, LISA, a space-based gravitational wave observatory set to launch in 2034, will revolutionize this field by providing data that is complementary to electromagnetic observations as well as data in regimes that are electromagnetically dark. This talk will touch on our current understanding of how these supermassive black holes form, evolve, and alter their galaxy host, and will outline the theoretical, computational and observational work needed to make the most of LISA observations.